Newbery Award Winning Books 1922-2008 by nmt18400

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									Newbery Award Winning Books
         1922-2008
How do They Portray Disabilities?
              Melissa Leininger, B.S.
                Casey Pehrson, B.S.
             Tina Taylor Dyches, Ed.D.
             Mary Anne Prater, Ph.D.



                 Brigham Young University
         Counseling Psychology & Special Education
Award-Winning Literature
        Available and Accessible
        Most school media centers and public libraries have many
        of the Newbery Medal books on their shelves
        (Dyches, Prater, & Jensen, 2006; Hegel, 2007)

        Widely Read
        Tend to be popular due to their good exposure and are
        expected to have a wider influence than that of other books
        (Friedman & Cataldo, 2002; Peterson & Karnes, 1976)

        Recommended
        Educators and school personnel are encouraged to
        incorporate award-winning literature into their classrooms,
        offices, and libraries (Ouzts et al., 2003; Prater, 2000)

        Timeless
        Award-winning books get published and are more likely to
        stay in circulation (Hill, White, & Brodie, 2001) and have a lasting
        effect on readers (Peterson & Karnes, 1976)
Students with Disabilities
9.2% of students ages 6-21 received special
education and related services (USDE, 2009)
    13.5% of students pre-K through 12th grade
       (NCES, 2007)


96% of students with disabilities were educated in
regular school buildings (USDE, 2007)

Books that contain characters with disabilities vary
greatly in their portrayal of individuals with
disabilities(Dyches& Prater, 2005; Dyches, Prater, & Cramer; 2001;
Dyches, Prater, & Jenson, 2006; Prater, 2003)
Bibliotherapy about Disabilities for
   Children without Disabilities
                  Students with and without disabilities are
                  interacting in schools on a daily basis

                  Children and adolescents without
                  disabilities need structured opportunities
                  to learn about individuals with disabilities.
                  What they know about disabilities generally
                  comes from the media which frequently
                  depicts individuals with disabilities
                  inaccurately or incompletely, leaving
                  students with mistaken ideas about these
                  individuals (Dyches et al., 2006; Johnson et al., 2000)
Bibliotherapy about Disabilities for
   Children without Disabilities
                  Students with and without disabilities are
                  interacting in schools on a daily basis

                  Children and adolescents without
                  disabilities need structured opportunities
                  to learn about individuals with disabilities.
                  What they know about disabilities generally
                  comes from the media which frequently
                  depicts individuals with disabilities
                  inaccurately or incompletely, leaving
                  students with mistaken ideas about these
                  individuals (Dyches et al., 2006; Johnson et al., 2000)
Bibliotherapy about Disabilities for
     Children with Disabilities
When students with disabilities read about a
character in a book that experiences similar
difficulties, they are able to recognize that they are
not alone, which is essential, as young people often
feel alone when experiencing a specific problem
(Forgan, 2002)

Identification with characters similar to themselves
may help students with disabilities to acquire coping
skills, release emotions, gain new insights and
directions in life, learn decision-making skills,
develop self-esteem, meet unique social and
personal needs, increase interpersonal competence,
and discover new ways of interacting with peers and
adults(Cook, et al., 2006; Friedman & Catalso, 2002;
Gladding & Gladding, 1991; Lenkowsky, 1987; Pardeck,
1991; Pehrsson & McMillen, 2005; Stamps, 2003)
Bibliotherapy about Disabilities for
     Children with Disabilities
When students with disabilities read about a
character in a book that experiences similar
difficulties, they are able to recognize that they are
not alone, which is essential, as young people often
feel alone when experiencing a specific problem
(Forgan, 2002)

Identification with characters similar to themselves
may help students with disabilities to acquire coping
skills, release emotions, gain new insights and
directions in life, learn decision-making skills,
develop self-esteem, meet unique social and
personal needs, increase interpersonal competence,
and discover new ways of interacting with peers and
adults(Cook, et al., 2006; Friedman & Catalso, 2002;
Gladding & Gladding, 1991; Lenkowsky, 1987; Pardeck,
1991; Pehrsson & McMillen, 2005; Stamps, 2003)
Bibliotherapy about Disabilities for
      the Inclusive Classroom
                  Providing an introduction to the different
                  types of disabilities that may be present in
                  the classroom, school, or community can
                  help students to become less fearful and
                  more accepting and appreciative of
                  individual differences (Iaquinta & Hipsky, 2006)
                  and to develop an empathic understanding
                  of others (Pehrsson & McMillen, 2005)

                  Bibliotherapy can open opportunities for
                  discussion of individual experiences, from
                  which all students can learn and benefit
Bibliotherapy about Disabilities for
      the Inclusive Classroom
                  Providing an introduction to the different
                  types of disabilities that may be present in
                  the classroom, school, or community can
                  help students to become less fearful and
                  more accepting and appreciative of
                  individual differences (Iaquinta & Hipsky, 2006)
                  and to develop an empathic understanding
                  of others (Pehrsson & McMillen, 2005)

                  Bibliotherapy can open opportunities for
                  discussion of individual experiences, from
                  which all students can learn and benefit
         Statement of Problem
Bibliotherapy helps children and adolescents to
understand individuals with disabilities and individuals
with disabilities to understand themselves (Iaquinta &
Hipsky, 2006; McCarty & Chalmers, 1997; Prater, Dyches, et al., 2006)

Newbery books represent quality literature, but these
books have not been systematically evaluated for their
portrayal of characters with disabilities (ALA; Dyches et al.,
2006; Friedman & Cataldo, 2002; Groce, 2002; Leal, Glascock, Mitchell,
& Wasserman, 2000; Miguez & Goetting, 2006; Roberts, 2002)

Before Newbery books are used for bibliotherapy, they
need to be evaluated for their portrayal of characters
with disabilities so teachers can choose books that
appropriately, accurately, and positively depict
characters with disabilities. This will encourage
students’ awareness, understanding and acceptance
of their classmates and peers with disabilities
(Prater, Dyches, et al., 2006)
Statement of Purpose
           The general purpose of this study
           is to examine the portrayal of
           characters with disabilities in
           Newbery Award and Honor books.
           More specifically, this study will
           examine what disabilities are
           portrayed, personal portrayals and
           social relationships of individuals
           with disabilities, and exemplary
           practices in these books.
                    Research Questions
1) Which disabilities are portrayed in
   Newbery Award and Honor books?

2) How are characters with disabilities
   portrayed in Newbery Award and Honor
   books?

3) What exemplary practices are portrayed in
   relation to characters with disabilities in
   Newbery Award and Honor books?
(citizenship opportunities, presence of appropriate services and/or
      valued occupations for the character, and promotion of self-
      determination for the character)


4) How are social relationships of characters
   with disabilities portrayed in Newbery
   Award and Honor books?
Method
Sample: Newbery Award and Honor books from 1922 to
2008 containing main or supporting characters with a
disability according to IDEA classifications
       50 books
       63 characters with disabilities
       17 Award, 33 Honor books

Measures: Adaptation of Rating Scale for Quality
Characterizations of Individuals with Disabilities in
Children’s Literature (Dyches & Prater, 2000)

Procedures: Content analysis using the updated Dyches &
Prater (2000) rating scale; Identification of prominent
themes regarding the portrayal of characters with
disabilities and related practices; Inter-rater agreement on
46.7% of the books for 1975-2008 books

Data analysis: Descriptive data and identification of themes;
Characters evaluated according to today’s standards
wbery Books Featuring Characters With Disabilit
                 (1922-1974)
wbery Books Featuring Characters With Disabilit
                 (1975-2008)
                                                                                           Disagree

                                                                                                      Neutral

                                                                                                                Agree
        Personal Portrayal
1. Portrays characteristics of disabilities accurately (e.g., abilities and disabilities   1            2         3
are consistent with descriptions from IDEA, DSM IV, and/or ICD 10;
abilities/disabilities are consistent throughout the story; if label is used, it is
accurate and current).

2. Describes the character(s) with disabilities as realistic (e.g., not superhuman or      1            2         3
subhuman; avoids miraculous cures).

3. Character(s) with disabilities are fully developed (e.g., credible,                     1            2         3
multidimensional, show change or development throughout the story).

4. Does not portray only disabilities of the character(s), but portrays abilities,         1            2         3
interests, and strengths of the character(s) (e.g., avoids undue emphasis on the
disability; characters have unique personalities, interests, and struggles that may
not be related to the disability; characters experience success as well as failure).

5. Emphasizes similarities, rather than differences, between characters with and           1            2         3
without disabilities (e.g., similar physical and personality characteristics are
described with equal emphasis).

6. Uses nondiscriminatory language that avoids stereotypic portrayals (e.g., does          1            2         3
not use language such as suffers from, afflicted with, stricken with, confined to a
wheelchair). This criterion includes the use of person-first language (e.g., uses
language such as person with mental retardation rather than retarded).
                 Exemplary Practices
1. Depicts character(s) with disabilities having full citizenship               1   2   3
opportunities in integrated settings and/or activities (e.g., school,
church, neighborhood, work, recreation/leisure).

2. Depicts character(s) with disabilities receiving services appropriate        1   2   3
for their age, skill level, and interests (e.g., teaching strategies depicted
meet the needs of the character; therapies needed are provided).

3. Depicts valued occupations for character(s) with disabilities (if            1   2   3
appropriate) (e.g., vocations of their own choice according to their
abilities and interests; wages paid are comparable to those without
disabilities in similar vocations).

4. Promotes self-determination (e.g., character(s) are allowed to               1   2   3
make decisions that impact their lives, solve their own problems,
choose their own friends and activities as appropriate to their age and
developmental level), where choices are similar to the types of
choices given to nondisabled peers.
                     Social Interactions
1. Depicts character(s) with disabilities engaging in socially and                 1   2   3
emotionally reciprocal relationships (e.g., not always being cared for, but
allowed to care for others; teaches and assists others) with a wide variety
of persons (e.g., family, nondisabled peers, friends with disabilities,
support personnel).
2. Depicts acceptance of the character(s) with disabilities (e.g., character       1   2   3
isn’t helpless against ridicule, teasing, bullying, abuse; character is not just
tolerated, but a valued member of a group; is part of the “in” group rather
than on the fringe or on the outside).
3. Promotes empathy, not pity for the character(s) with disabilities (e.g.,        1   2   3
other characters act on their feelings to help in appropriate ways rather
than just feeling sorry for the character with disabilities).
4. Portrays positive social contributions of person(s) with disabilities (e.g., 1      2   3
contributes to more than emotional growth of other characters).
5. Promotes respect for the character(s) with disabilities (e.g., treated          1   2   3
similar to others of same age, as appropriate; not “babied;” avoids
condescending language and actions).
                 Sibling Relationships
1. Sibling(s) of the character(s) with disabilities experience a wide range      1   2   3
of emotions, not just all positive or all negative emotions (e.g., pride, joy,
respect, love, embarrassment, frustration, over identification, guilt,
isolation, resentment, anxiety regarding achievement, fear of the future).
2. Sibling(s) of the character(s) with disabilities have opportunities for       1   2   3
growth that are not typical for siblings of children without disabilities
(e.g., maturity, self-concept, insight, tolerance, pride, vocational choices,
advocacy, loyalty).
3. The sibling relationship is reciprocal, given the age and developmental       1   2   3
differences between the siblings.
4. The sibling(s) are not given unusually burdensome household and               1   2   3
family duties, but engage in family work that is typical for children of the
same age and gender that do not have a sibling with disabilities.
5. The sibling(s) appear aware of the nature of the disability and its           1   2   3
effects on the character with disabilities.
           1922-2008 Results
Out of 371 Newbery Award and Honor
books, 50 contained at least one
character with a disability

40% of the books were published before
1975 and 60% of the books were
published between 1975 and 2008

Three characters with illness-related
OHI were disqualified

Three characters were counted but not
evaluated
         1922-1974 Results
                                         Types of Disabilities in
Disabilities Portrayed:                Newbery Books (1922-1974)
   Orthopedic Impairment (9)                      SLI
                                                      MD
                                                      5%
   Visual Impairment (4)                     MR
                                                  5%

   Emotional Disturbance (4)                 9%
                                                             OI
                                                            43%
   Mental Retardation (2)
   Speech or Language Impairment (1)    ED
                                       19%
   Multiple Disabilities (1)
                                                      VI
                                                     19%
1922-1974 versus IDEA
  Types of Disabilities in    IDEA (2009)
Newbery Books (1922-1974)

                  MD
            SLI   5%
            5%
       MR
       9%
                         OI
                        43%


  ED
 19%




                   VI
                  19%
              1975-2008 Results
Most common:
   Orthopedic Impairment
   Emotional Disturbance
   Mental Retardation
Least common:
   Deaf-Blindness
   Developmental Delay
   Speech or Language Impairment
(TBI only disability not represented)
   1975-2008 Results: RQ
            #1




Newbery (n=24)            IDEA (USDE, 2009)
                 Individuals Ages 6-21
1975-2008 Results: RQ #1
          Most Common Disabilities

   Newbery                      IDEA
 Mental Retardation      Specific Learning Disability
 Orthopedic Impairment   Speech/Lang. Impairment
 Multiple Disabilities   Mental Retardation
 Autism                  Other Health Impairment
   1975-2008 Results: RQ
            #2
                            Personal Portrayal
• Almost two-thirds (62.5%; n=25) were male

• Over half (57.5%; n=23) were children or adolescents

• Most (75.0%; n=30) were White
    – 12.5% Black (n=5)
    – 7.5% Hispanic (n=3)
    – 5.0% Asian (n=2)
1975-2008 Results: RQ #2
     School-Age Characters (6-21 years old)

 Newbery                    IDEA
  70.8% (n=17) male         67.2% male
  83.3% (n=20) White        61.7% White
  13.0% (n=3) Black         20.5% Black
  4.3% (n=1) Hispanic       14.6% Hispanic
 1975-2008 Results: RQ #2
• Most (87.5%; n=35) were supporting characters

• All main characters were children or adolescents (12.5%; n=5)

• Most characters (70.3%; n=26) received an overall acceptable
  rating (score of 2.0 or above)
1975-2008 Results: RQ #2
•   Main focus of most books (76.7%; n=23) was to include a character with a
    disability whose presence and disability impacts the story
     – Focus of 23.3% of books (n=7) was to include a character with a disability whose
       presence impacts the story, but the disability is irrelevant


•   Few books (13.3%; n=4) were told from the point of view of the character
    with a disability
     – Other: 36.7% (n=11)
     – Omniscient: 50.0% (n=15)

•   Most books (76.7%; n=23) contained characters that lived in the U.S.

•   Only about half (51.7%; n=15) of books took place in the present day
 1975-2008 Results: RQ #2
                       Personal Portrayal
• Most (83.8% n=31) received an acceptable rating (≥ 2.0)
• Average ratings improved over time
   – (1975-1990): 2.03 (n=9)
   – (1991-2008): 2.43 (n=28)
      1975-2008 Results: RQ #2

• Highest Ratings
    – Specific Learning Disability
    – Visual Impairment
    – Orthopedic Impairment


• Lowest Ratings
    – Mental Retardation
    – Emotional Disturbance
 1975-2008 Results: RQ #3
                     Exemplary Practices
• Most (86.5%; n=32) received an acceptable rating
• Average ratings improved over time
   – (1975-1990): 2.02 (n=9)
   – (1991-2008): 2.47 (n=28)
  1975-2008 Results: RQ #4
                      Social Interactions
• Almost two-thirds (64.9%; n=24) received an acceptable rating
• Average ratings improved over time
   – (1975-1990): 1.91 (n=9)
   – (1991-2008): 2.35 (n=28)
1975-2008 Results: RQ #4
                       Sibling Relationships
                                   s




• Almost all (91.7%; n=11) were portrayed positively
• Remained fairly constant over time
    – (1975-1990): 2.40 (n=4)
    – (1991-2008): 2.38 (n=8)
               Recommended
                  Books



Books to Use
with Caution
Discussion
Discrepancies when comparing Newbery school-age
characters to U.S. school population (disability & ethnicity)
Mental retardation one of the most common disabilities
(and commonly depicted), yet one of the least commonly
positively portrayed
Most characters were supporting

Common theme of elimination of character with disability
or of the disability itself through miraculous cures

Characters with disabilities often used to facilitate growth
of others

Range of portrayal of characters, relationships, and
exemplary practices
Implications for Authors
        More characters from culturally and linguistically
        diverse backgrounds

        Depiction of disabilities commonly encountered in
        school settings today

        Positive depiction of emotional disturbance and
        mental retardation

        Depiction of more characters with disabilities as main
        characters that tell the story from their point of view

        Inclusion of more sibling relationships to help families

        Inclusion of characters whose disability is not the
        focus of the book
       Implications for Others
School professionals
(e.g., teachers, school
psychologists, librarians) can use this
information to:
   Discriminate which books to use in bibliotherapy

   Teach historically about the portrayal of disabilities
   and compare to portrayal and practices today

   Increase awareness and understanding
Limitations
  Not all characters with disabilities may
  have been identified

  Possible bias in determination of
  qualifying characters

  Assessment instrument not tested for
  reliability and validity

  Assessed according to today’s standards
          Future Research

Compare Newbery to
Caldecott books
Compare Newbery to other
award-winning books
Create guide for teachers
to use in classroom
Conclusion
  Care should be taken by parents and
  school professionals to choose books
  that accurately and positively portray
  characters with disabilities.

  By identifying with characters with
  disabilities, as well as learning from
  their unique experiences, students
  without disabilities can increase their
  understanding and acceptance of those
  with disabilities, and students with
  disabilities can understand themselves
  and develop life skills to work through
  their own challenges.
   Melissa Leininger
melissmybliss@gmail.com

      Casey Pehrson
caseypehrson@yahoo.com

								
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