Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




College of Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Suzanne Horn

Second Advisor

Heather Hagan

Third Advisor

Kimberly Foster


The purpose of this narrative case study was to identify how teachers include diverse literature in their classroom libraries to provide students with multiple opportunities to read different points of view. The central research questions were: How do teachers provide students with opportunities to explore differing viewpoints through books in classroom libraries? How do teachers choose books and materials to create safe spaces for diverse learners through classroom libraries? Lastly, how are laws impacting how teachers select books to include in their classroom libraries?

Data collection consisted of focus group interviews where teachers shared their experiences with providing students opportunities to explore literature through their classroom libraries. The data was coded with in vivo coding to take the participant’s exact words from the focus groups. The theoretical framework that was used to guide this study was Williams Glasser’s choice theory, which states that we choose everything that we do. Glasser’s theory aligns with this study because teachers choose what books they want in their classrooms.

This case study had a sample of 10 teachers from multiple counties in the state of South Carolina. All of the data was analyzed and compiled for the reader thematically. Themes were chosen based on how often they appeared in the interviews. An item became a major theme if it was discussed in each interview by the teachers. The themes that were found included: welcoming classroom libraries, diversity in literature, windows and mirrors, and censorship. The results from the study indicate that teachers understand the importance of diverse books in the classroom because they help students discover multiple perspectives. However, educators worry about repercussions if they include a book the district or parents don’t like in their classroom libraries. The findings from this study can add to the literature on the importance of diverse literature in classrooms and the risks teachers take by providing it to students.

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