Date Approved

1-11-2021

Embargo Period

1-12-2021

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

Browne, Susan

Third Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Subject(s)

Culturally relevant pedagogy; Children's literature

Disciplines

Language and Literacy Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the significance of integrating multicultural literature, primarily multicultural picture books, in culturally responsive book clubs to improve student motivation, foster awareness of one's identity and promote discussions about social justice. Prior to this research, student discourse about their own identity and the nature of social injustices related to prejudice, stereotyping, and racism was limited. Qualitative research was employed utilizing student artifacts such anticipation guides, literature role responses, and reflection journals. Data was also collected from audio recording transcripts of book club and class wide discussions as well as a teacher's reflection journal. Using triangulation and coding of student responses, themes emerged: using multicultural literature inspired students to self-reflect and acknowledge that maintaining one's cultural identity is critical, though challenging at times. Also, students saw a need for empathy after reading literature that was both "mirrors" and "windows" into the other's needs if social justice was to become a reality. Some students, however, continued to express discomfort discussing social injustices that stem from racial inequalities, supporting the idea that students need time and continued exposure to topics such as racism and bias if students are to become truly comfortable taking social action.

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