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ERIC Number: ED541475
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 154
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Increasing Students' Perceptions of Being Valued through the Study of Multicultural Literature and Analysis of Diversity Related Issues in a Regular Level Sophomore English Class
Goughnour, Martha Jean
Online Submission, Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University
The action research project report was created to remedy a lack of multicultural literature within the regular level sophomore English class and to assist regular level sophomore students' connection to their reading. The teacher-researcher also examined her students' own ethnic backgrounds, cultures, religions, economic status, gender, and/or sexual orientation in order to reinforce the students' abilities to feel comfortable; like they mattered in class. A total of 82 students participated in the study between August 2012 and January 2013. The teacher-researcher believed that the students did not feel connected to what they were reading in English class and was concerned that they might feel disconnected from classmates and teachers due to the perceptions regarding their backgrounds, cultures, religions, economic status, gender, and/or sexual orientation. The teacher-researcher used three tools to document evidence: a teacher survey (n = 18), a parent survey (n = 52), and a student survey (pren = 82/postn = 81). The teacher-researcher found that in English classes, 85% of students did not feel judged by peers during English while 75% did not feel judged by peers in other classes. Students felt judged by all of their teachers based on their ethnic backgrounds, race, culture, gender, or, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation, students feel judged about the same by all teachers. Students felt that teachers did not take the time to get to know them on a more individual basis (n = 53, 68%). Lastly, students wanted to be recognized by their gender, ethnic backgrounds, and cultural backgrounds by their teachers. The interventions and strategies were created by more pieces of literature into the curriculum ("By Any Other Name," "Miss Rosie," ("Lamb to the Slaughter," "Ex-Basketball Player," "Sierra Leone," "A Long Way Gone," and "Gangsta Girl."); changing the emphasis on pieces that were already in the curriculum "The Pedestrian," "Twelve Angry Men," and "Inherit the Wind"; adding videos and clips from MTV or YouTube ("A Thin Line"--dealt with sexting as an issue, "A Student, a School and a Case That Made History: Bullied"--a video that discussed bullying connected to sexual orientation, "Hotel Rwanda"--about genocide, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone"-music video by Kanye West); and creating new worksheets/graphic organizers connected to the literature. The researcher also created journal reflections, blog topics (which was an addition to the curriculum), created a new research speech, created a new speech connect with "A Long Way Gone"; small group activities, role playing, and large group discussion. Connected to all of the above, key topics about diversity were stressed. Based on the post data survey completed by the students of the teacher-researcher, more students in the class felt that the teacher-researcher recognized them as being more than just students. The students enjoyed and appreciated the multicultural literature that was incorporated in the class and gained confidence when working in small groups and when it came to voicing their own opinions. Ultimately, the conclusion drawn by the teacher-researcher was the inclusion of more multicultural literature along with more discussion about diversity allows students to feel more connected to what they were reading, to each other, and to the teacher-researcher. The following are appended: (1) Teacher Survey; (2) Parent Survey; (3) Pre-Student Survey; (4) Post-Student Survey; (5) Student Reflection #1--Advertisements; (6) Diversity Quotes; (7) Blog #1--Quote Reflection; (8) Student Reflection #2--"The Ray Bradbury Hour": "The Pedestrian"; (9) Name Speech; (10) Judicial Questionnaire; (11) Peer Pressure; (12) Blog #2--"Twelve Angry Men"; (13) Issues in Music; (14) Bullying Facts and Myths; (15) How Safe is Your School; (16) Bullying Scenes; (17) Rachel's Character; (18) Sierra Leone Response; and (19) "A Long Way Gone" Speech. (Contains 15 tables and 44 figures.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Grade 10; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois