Joanna Sevre


Spring 2024


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Trish Harvey

Content Expert

Lauren Koller


Research demonstrates a direct connection between reading literature and building empathy, aiming to foster a more inclusive classroom. This capstone explores the pivotal role of diverse literature in nurturing empathy and cultural understanding within a classroom. The first part of this project will focus on personal and professional insights to understand the significance of this topic. Then, the research delves into the origins of empathy as well as the connection between curating empathy during key points of adolescent development as a way to positively impact relationships and social understanding. Research also emphasizes the critical need for educators to create inclusive environments and recognize diverse perspectives as a way to validate and ensure representation of all students within the classroom. Central to this research project is the integration of diverse literature into the classroom. Rudine Sims Bishop (1990) stated the importance of providing literature that serves as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors as a way to identify novels that resonate with middle-level students. Selecting novels that resonate with students' lived experiences as well as inform students of perspectives vastly different from their own is critical to this research. This project serves to address significant life topics as a way to naturally cultivate empathetic skills within the classroom through literature. This project culminates in the form of a website as a way to serve as a central platform for novel and author recommendations. This website aims to deliver resources to individuals seeking literature that represents various perspectives in terms of race, ability/disability, socio-economic status, and LGBTQIA+ voices. Through this project, educators can empower students to navigate the complexities of the world with compassion and open-mindedness, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and empathetic society.

Project Type

Website Creation


Community Building, Gender, Literacy, Multicultural Education








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