Capstone/Dissertation Title

Multicultural literature and empathy in a middle school social studies classroom

Term

2010

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the relationship between multicultural literature and empathy more specifically, what empathetic responses emerged when eighth grade students reflected upon multicultural literature in a world geography classroom? To answer this question, six students participated in book club discussions after reading Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin's Three Cups of Tea: Young Reader's Edition. Three forms of data collection occurred: observational field notes of discussions were recorded, discussions were audiotaped, and student work samples were collected. After analyzing the data from four students, it was found that a variety of meaningful empathetic responses emerged when eighth grade geography students reflected upon multicultural literature: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and cross-cultural empathy.

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