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Education Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 986342, 13 pages
Research Article

Korean-Origin Kindergarten Children’s Response to African-American Characters in Race-Themed Picture Books

Department of Teacher Education, The University of Texas at El Paso, Education Building, Room 801B, 100 University Avenue, El Paso, TX 79912, USA

Received 3 April 2014; Revised 1 July 2014; Accepted 15 August 2014

Academic Editor: Stephen P. Heyneman

Copyright © 2015 So Jung Kim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In spite of the contributions of previous studies about multicultural education, children’s literature, and teaching for social justice, no study had investigated their intersection. This qualitative case study explores how kindergarten-age Korean children respond to African-American characters in picture books during read-alouds. The data were collected by audio-recordings, open-ended interviews, children’s artifacts, and observational field notes. One of the findings was that the children exhibited resistance to black characters, and their resistance was shaped within their larger social and cultural surroundings such as the parents’ racial views towards black people and the dominant racial discourse of Korean community. Findings suggest that the goal of a literacy program in bilingual children’s classrooms has to be that students learn not only about biliteracy skills but also about the value and meaning of the human experience in our pluralistic society.