Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education


Language, Literature, and Sociocultural Education


College of Education


Lee, Valarie

Committee Member 1

Browne, Susan

Committee Member 2

Madden, Marjorie


Culturally relevant pedagogy; Kindergarten


Early Childhood Education | Language and Literacy Education


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.