Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Program or Major

Education, Middle and Secondary

Faculty Advisor

Cathleen Stutz


Every year the final week of September is a week dedicated to the works of literature that have been banned and challenged. Appropriately called Banned Books Week, librarians and educators around the world attempt to educate students as well as other citizens about the causes of banned and challenged books. Another way in which to research this concept of selection is to look at the factors that influence high school English Language Arts (ELA) teachers’ specific selection choices for texts to include in their curriculum. The purpose of this research and study was to examine what factors influence the choices made by high school ELA teachers as they select literature for their classes. Public, private, and charter high school English teachers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island were surveyed. After reviewing survey responses, I asked nine teachers to be interviewed in more depth, using a semi-structured interview format. Results from both surveys and interviews suggest that these teachers think that they have autonomy to select literary texts. Literary merit, fostering lifelong readers, and including more multicultural texts emerged as the three factors that most influenced these teachers. The thoughts and feelings of students had the largest influence on literature selection while the thoughts and feelings of parents, community, and administration had surprisingly little influence on literature selection.

Included in

Education Commons