Challenging the Supported Curriculum: Faculty Members’ Attitudes toward Caribbean and Louisiana Content in Undergraduate French and Spanish Textbooks

Abstract views: 175 / PDF downloads: 43




Caribbean, Louisiana, World language education, Multicultural Education, Curriculum and Instruction, curriculum leadership, instructional leadership


Guided by a theoretical framework underpinned by Critical Multicultural Education (Banks, 2019), this study aimed to understand university faculty members’ attitudes toward the presentation of Caribbean and Louisiana-themed content in French and Spanish textbooks and their associated teaching practices. A Likert-Scale survey was employed, and it was discovered that faculty members felt textbook content about the Caribbean was more or less accurate, but content about Louisiana was inaccurate. Likewise, they had to adjust their teaching practices to be more intentional about how these areas are presented in their teaching and represented in novice and intermediate French and Spanish courses. The findings of this study help to inform curriculum design in higher education World Language courses and assist in curriculum development efforts that align with frameworks that center on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as the core of course design.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Jerry Parker, Morris Brown College

Dr. Jerry L. Parker is an instructor of French, Spanish, and World Language Education in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond, Louisiana). He also serves as Director of the Foreign Language Resource Center and Undergraduate Program Coordinator. His research agenda centers on issues of Curriculum, Instruction, Student Retention, Change, and Innovation in Higher Education and World Language programs. He also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of Spanish at Morris Brown College (Atlanta, Georgia) and is a student in the Master of Public Administration program at Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, Louisiana).


American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2017). World-readiness standards for learning foreign languages.

Anya, U., & Randolph, L. J. (October/November 2019). Diversifying language educators and learners. The Language Educator, 23–27.

Askildson, V. (2008). What do teachers and students want from a foreign language textbook [Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMO No. 3297985)

Banks, J. A. (2019). An introduction to multicultural education (6th ed.). Pearson.

Bennett, C. (2001). Genres of research in multicultural education. Review of Education Research, 71(2), 171–217. DOI:

Canale, G. (2016). (Re)searching culture in foreign language textbooks, or politics of hide and seek, language. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 29(2), 225–243. DOI:

Chapelle, C. (2009). A hidden curriculum in language textbooks: Are beginning learners of French at U.S. universities taught about Canada? The Modern Language Journal, 93(2), 139–152. DOI:

Chapelle, C. (2014). Five decades of Canadian and Québec content in French textbooks in the United States. American Review of Canadian Studies, 44(4), 415–432. DOI:

Chapelle, C. (2016). Teaching culture in introductory foreign language textbooks. Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:

Coda, E., Czerwionka, L., William, J. M., & Williams, T. B. (2022). Enrollment challenges for university language classes in the twenty-first century: Strategies, case studies, and considerations for adapting to changing circumstances. ADFL Bulletin, 47(1), 33–45. DOI:

Dechert, C., & Kastner, P. (1989). Undergraduate student interests and the cultural content of textbooks for German. The Modern Language Journal, 73(2), 178–191. DOI:

Elissondo, G. (2001). Representing Latino/a culture in introductory Spanish textbooks. The National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies. In Proceedings from the NAHLS 2001 Conference, Houston, TX (pp. 72–99).

Fitzgerald, A. K., & Lauter, P. (2004). Multiculturalism and core. In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks (Eds), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 30–49). Jossey-Bass.

Gay, G. (2004). Curriculum theory and multicultural education. In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook on research in multicultural education (pp. 30–49). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. Teachers College Press.

Gay, L. R., & Airasian, P. (2003). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and application (7th ed.). Prentice Hall.

Giovannetti, J. L. (2013). Caribbean studies as practice: Insights from border-crossing histories and research. Small Axe, 17(2), 74–87. DOI:

Glatthorn, A. A., Boschee, F., Whitehead, B. M., & Boschee, B. F. (2019). Curriculum leadership: Strategies for development and implementation (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.

Grosfoguel, R. (2007). The epistemic decolonial turn: Beyond political-economy paradigms. Cultural Studies, 21(3), 211–233. DOI:

Grosfoguel, R. (2012). The dilemmas of ethnic studies in the United States: Between liberal multiculturalism, identity politics, disciplinary colonialization, and decolonial epistemologies. Human Architecture: Journal of Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 10(1), 81–90.

Grosfoguel, R. (2013). The structure of knowledge in western universities: Epistemic racism /sexism and the four genocides/epistemicides of the long 16th century. Human Architecture: Journal of Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 11(1), 73–90.

Grosfoguel, R. (2016). What is racism. Journal of World Systems Research, 22(1), 9–15. DOI:

Grosfoguel, R. (2017). Decolonizing the university (Racist/Sexist Epistemologies, 4 Genocides) [Video file].

Hassan, N.M. (2020). From the traumas of the Caribbean to revival of resistant literature: A West Indian discourse. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(2), 173-194. DOI:

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress. Routledge. DOI:

Isisag, K. U. (2010). The acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity in foreign language teaching. Akademik Bakis, 4(7), 251–260.

Jumonville, F. (1997). Creating and transmitting the Louisiana memory: Teaching Louisiana studies in the schools [Doctoral dissertation, University of New Orleans]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMO No. 9732826)

Keefer, N. (2020). Imperialism in the French and Spanish Caribbean: An application of 21st century themes and skills for economic inquiry. Teaching Social Studies, 20(2), 48–61.

Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (6th ed.). Elsevier.

Kramsch, C. (2013). Culture in foreign language teaching. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 1(1), 57–78.

Kramsch, C. J. (1987). Foreign language textbooks’ construction of foreign reality. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 44, 95–119. DOI:

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995a). But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34(4). 159–165. DOI:

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995b). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465–491. DOI:

Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dream-keepers: Successful teachers of African-American children. Jossey-Bass.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0 a.k.a. the Remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84(1), 74–84. DOI:

Lee, K. (2006). Understanding multicultural perspectives in foreign language education: A curricular and preservice teacher point of view. Texas Foreign Language Association Journal, 5(3), 44–51.

Leloup, J. W., & Long, S. S (2014). To text(book) or not to text(book): A primer for faculty members in language departments. ADFL Bulletin, 43(1), 45–51. DOI:

McGowen, H. E., & Shipley, C. (2020). The adaptation advantage. Wiley.

McPeake, J., Bateson, M., & O’Neil, A. (2014). Electronic surveys: How to Maximize success. Nurse Researcher, 21(3), 24–26. DOI:

Megow, G. (1956). Reflections on the final report of the committee on textbooks. The German Quarterly, 29(2). 97–99. DOI:

Mills, G. E. & Gay, L. R. (2016). Educational Research: Competencies for analysis and applications. (11th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Mitchell, N. E. (2023). Toward a creole curriculum. In P. Hendry, M. Quinn, R. Mitchell, & J. Bach (Eds.), Curriculum histories in place, in person, in practice: The Louisiana State University curriculum theory project (pp. 193–204). DOI:

Mora, C. G. A., & Guillén, P. J. A. (2007). Representación del caribe en libros de texto de primaria venezolanos [Representation of the Caribbean in elementary school Venezuelan textbooks]: The representation of the Caribbean in Venezuelan primary school textbooks. Revista de Pedagogía, 28(83), 335–350.

Pinar, W. F. (1991). Understanding curriculum as a racial text. Scholar and Educator, 15(2), 9–21.

Popova, D. (2017). You know who is me? Culturally inclusive education. In S. Blackman & D. Conrad (Eds), Caribbean discourse in inclusive education: Historical and contemporary issues (pp. 53–68). Information Age Publishing.

Reagan, T. G., & Osborn, T. A. (2021). World language education as critical pedagogy: The promise of social justice. Routledge. DOI:

Saint-Hilaire, L. A. (2014). So, how do I teach them? Understanding multicultural education and culturally relevant pedagogy, Reflective Practice, 15(5), 592–602. DOI:

Shedivy, S. L. (2003). Foreign language curriculum: A pedagogy of reproduction [Doctoral dissertation, [The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMO No. 311465)

Stark, J. S. (2002). Planning introductory college courses. In N. Hativa & P. Goodyear (Eds.), Teacher thinking, beliefs, and knowledge in higher education (pp. 127–150). Kluwer Academic Publishers. DOI:

Stinchcomb, D. F. (2007). Multiculturalism and diversity in the Spanish undergraduate classroom. ADFL Bulletin, 38(3), 29–33. DOI:

Tilton, S. (n.d.) Louisiana and the OIF: Louisiana historic and cultural vistas.

Tinto, V. (2015). Through the eyes of students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, & Practice, 19(3), 254–269. DOI:

Weninger, C., & Kiss, T. (2014). Analyzing culture in foreign/second language textbooks: Methodological and conceptual issues. In X. L. Curdt-Christiansen & C. Weninger (Eds), Language, ideology and education: The politics of textbooks in language education (pp. 50–66). Routledge.




How to Cite

Parker, J. (2023). Challenging the Supported Curriculum: Faculty Members’ Attitudes toward Caribbean and Louisiana Content in Undergraduate French and Spanish Textbooks. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 10(4), 193–212.



Original Manuscript
Received 2023-04-09
Accepted 2023-09-15
Published 2023-09-25