Many teachers choose the texts they read in the classroom based on what skills they can teach with that book. That makes perfect sense! However, there are other factors we need to take into consideration. We also need a variety of mirror and window texts in our classroom.
What are mirror texts?
Mirror texts are books that allow children to see themselves in the characters. These are books that reflect their culture and identity. It’s very frustrating for a child to only be exposed to books that represent another’s culture. It can often lead to feelings of inferiority. Using mirror texts in your classroom will help children feel valued and respected. It can help increase engagement in your literacy instruction as they will be motivated with content that is familiar to them. It will also help them understand that they do not have to change who they are in order to be successful.
What are window texts?
Window texts allow students to see cultures other than their own in the characters and story. These texts introduce children to a variety of cultures and that they may not otherwise come into contact with. The use of window texts allow children to see the world through books. Window texts increase acceptance and teach children that we live in a diverse country in which every culture should be respected.
Why are mirror and window texts important?
Choosing diverse texts is one way to implement culturally responsive instruction. As our classrooms become more and more diverse, we have to discover new ways to effectively teach our students. Traditional American educational practices did not have students of color in mind. The methods, the books, and the history was not geared towards a diverse group of students. As a result, there is a need for change in our curriculum resources. Every student should have the opportunity to see their culture reflected in classroom literature.