Capstone/Dissertation Title

Implementing a theme-based curriculum unit to support upper elementary students in critically exploring multiple perspectives

Term

2013

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Abstract

This project researched the question: how can a theme-based curriculum unit be implemented to support upper elementary students in critically exploring multiple perspectives? It documents one teacher's efforts to teach a unit focused on critically exploring multiple perspectives in U.S. Westward Expansion through the exploration of a text set including picture books, videos, and original artwork. This study has roots in Freire's Social Critical Theory, Rosenblatt's Transactional Theory, Vygotsky's Social Constructivism Theory, and Luke and Freebody's Four Resources Model. The author implemented McLaughlin and DeVoogd's Critical Literacy Lesson Framework in the instruction of strategies for deepening students' understanding of texts by exploring multiple perspectives. Pre-and post-test results were documented, along with details from the day-to-day instruction and activities in the unit. The author includes new discoveries and limitations of the study. The findings suggest critical pedagogy is a necessary component for promoting social justice in the upper elementary school classroom.

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