Date Approved

4-13-2020

Embargo Period

4-14-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education

Department

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Lee, Valarie

Second Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Third Advisor

Browne, Susan

Subject(s)

Critical pedagogy; Language arts--Secondary

Disciplines

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

Abstract

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.

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