Capstone Project Title
The research focus for my capstone is: Utilizing BIPOC Class Novels in the Middle School Classroom to Promote Empathy. I have designed a website titled “Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Literature” to be accessed and utilized by parents and teachers of middle school students. For adults who seek high quality literature by / about People of Color that also incorporate empathy-building Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills, this website is an excellent resource. As the adolescent brain develops, so does the capability for empathy. Perspective-taking occurs after learned experiences. The perspective-taking element of empathy can be explicitly taught to adolescents in numerous ways, one of which being through the use of inclusive literature. Literature with BIPOC characters or authors is currently less common than stories with White authors or characters. Such texts can act as windows and mirrors for students: windows into experiences unknown to them and mirrors that reflect their similar or shared experiences and stories. Students can learn perspective-taking through books that act as windows. The BIPOC Literature website offers middle school teachers and parents the opportunity to discover high quality books by / about BIPOC with detailed descriptions, identified themes, age-appropriate levels, and SEL competencies they connect with. This site can be used in the school setting for teachers deciding on class novels, read alouds, and more, or for parents, independent or family reading at home.The implications of utilizing racially representative literature in classrooms in conjunction with the Social-Emotional Learning element of empathy are great, and can lead to an increase in critical literacy, student engagement, and meaningful student connections to classroom literature.
Literacy, Multicultural Education, Reading, Teachers/ Teaching
Fowler, Bailey, "Utilizing BIPOC Class Novels in the Middle School Classroom to Promote Empathy" (2022). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 796.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects