McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Eduardo Coronel

Major and Classification

American Studies and Ethnicity

Faculty Mentor

  • John Rowe, Ph.D.

Department

  • American Studies and Ethnicity

McNair Project

What's Missing: A Study on How Latino Literature is Represented in High School "American Literature" Textbooks in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Latinos have fought for a place in the United States educational system since the 1960's. Before the Chicano/a movement there was little or no history and literature of, Mexican Americans, Central Americans, South Americans, or Caribbean Americans in the U.S. educational system. It wasn't until the Chicano/a movement that this began to change. The Chicano/a movement began to question the United States motives and direction for student education; as a result, the American education system has had a dramatic shift from the 1960's. There has been an increase of Latinos taking part in spreading the unspoken words of the Latino culture. However, Latinos still lag in becoming a part of the mainstream educational curriculum in the U.S. One aspect where Latinos are severally underrepresented is in history. After researching the anthologies of Latino literature, I began to wonder how this literature is represented. In this paper I identify the most common high school "American Literature" textbooks used in the Los Angeles Unified school District (LAUSD) and evaluate how much and how well Latino/a literature is being represented. Also, I identify the criteria used by LAUSD to choose "American literature" textbooks for the district. After conducting the content analysis of three different high school "American Literature" textbooks used by the LAUSD, I found several themes that revealed Latino/as literature with in its pages.