Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Joan F. Kaywell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ylce Irizarry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jane H. Applegate, Ph.D.


Hispanics, Hispanic Literature, high school English, secondary English, minorities, culturally based education, culture based education


Curricula throughout the country, specifically in the School District of Hillsborough County (SDHC), do not encompass diverse subject matter as it relates to Latino/a students. The primary argument posed in this thesis is that consistent engagement to Latino/a writings in the English language arts classroom can be a positive force that contributes to an increased rate of retention of Latino/a youths in high school and a higher percentage of Latino/a high school graduates. This Latino/a literature can be in the form of supplementary reading material that teachers will have access to that will include Latino/a literature from various authors that represent the full spectrum of what the Latino/a experience is and how it is an integral part of the American kaleidoscope of literature. This thesis examines how culture-based education, currently used with American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians, directly correlates to Latinos/as in regards to culture, learning methodology and academic achievement. Included is a full unit plan and a literature guide for teachers to use that includes a plethora of Latino/a literature divided by specific country of origin of author(s) as well as genre.