Date Approved

1-11-2021

Embargo Period

1-12-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education

Department

Language, Literature, and Sociocultural Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Lee, Valarie

Second Advisor

Browne, Susan

Third Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Subject(s)

Culturally relevant pedagogy; Kindergarten

Disciplines

Early Childhood Education | Language and Literacy Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand what happens when students in a Kindergarten classroom participate in learning about social justice to create a culture of empathy. Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995) serves as a theoretical framework for implementing mini-lessons using the 2020 Teaching Tolerance's Anti-Bias Framework and social justice standards to create an inclusive kindergarten environment. The objective was to increase engagement in the classroom and create a more positive and comfortable environment for students during play group and class discussions around picture books. Qualitative research was used in this study, which focused on read-alouds, class discussions, and student activities. Audio recordings, surveys, a teacher's research journal, student artifacts, and student interviews were collected and analyzed based on data analysis. The use of culturally relevant texts and class discussions encouraged students to learn more about each other's cultures on a deeper level and build rapport with each other in the classroom. Using students' background knowledge along with multicultural picture books and teaching anti-bias mini-lessons, students were more engaged and able to think deeper when trying to relate to someone who may seem much more different than them.

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