Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education


Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education


College of Education


Lee, Valarie

Committee Member 1

Madden, Marjorie

Committee Member 2

Browne, Susan


Critical pedagogy; Language arts--Secondary


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Language and Literacy Education


The overall purpose of this study was to research the impact of multicultural literature on secondary students' abilities to employ critical literacy techniques and develop empathy towards groups of people from marginalized and oppressed communities. Students in a 10th grade, Academic level classroom self-selected independent readings texts about multicultural social groups and engaged in small group discussions centered on questioning text through the lens of critical literacy throughout the semester. Small group discussions focused on identifying trends of inequality. Findings of this study include patterns in student book selection, trends in student understanding of identity and the implications of identity within the context of social groups; evidence of student exposure to and awareness of historically marginalized or oppressed groups; evidence of student comfort level during small group discussions based on current or topical events; (6) the impact of real world context on student understanding of multicultural themes. Conclusions drawn from this study discuss the importance of implementing multicultural literature in the classroom for students at the secondary level and the importance of contextualizing fiction and nonfiction multicultural literature within the historical, political and social events in which these texts are based.