Capstone Project Title
Multiple studies have identified that many groups of underrepresented students, including non-Christians, LGBTQ+, Native-Americans, children of immigrant families, and youth of color, feel invisible or not included in school settings because there is a lack of visibility of non-dominant groups in school, or a lack of policies and practices that support the needs and experiences of non-dominant groups. This may include a lack of representation in recognized celebrated holidays, curriculum topics, or literature discussed in school. This capstone project will focus on how we can create inclusive spaces for students to promote positive school culture by obtaining diverse literature for students and establishing a book club that meets regularly to discuss underrepresented voices. Inclusive spaces means creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued. Selected books for the new book club library represented BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters, and also those that highlighted the experiences of youth from Muslim, immigrant, or multiracial identities, from a multitude of reading genres including fantasy, graphic novels, dystopian, memoirs, and non-fiction books. Book clubs focused on discussing diverse literature can be used as inclusive spaces for students to grapple with identity, language, race, sexuality, social class, and gender in that they encourage students to hold respectful and critical discussions about social identities and varied cultures. Schools need to seek out multi-varied literature that represent diverse voices to introduce students to new alternative perspectives, and such that students from all backgrounds see themselves reflected in the available books and conversations. This fosters a sense of belonging, which increases student engagement and achievement. Reading diverse literature and book club discussions can be powerful tools to reflect the experiences and perspectives of people from different cultures, for promoting cultural competency and inclusivity, to acquire vocabulary and language to properly address emotions and conflict, to help all students feel seen and valued, to allow personal growth in identity development and social-emotional connections, to support the continuation and revitalization of cultural heritage and traditions, and to help create a more inclusive and welcoming environment, in order to promote educational equity and inclusivity.
Extracurricular Club Project
Community Building, Multicultural Education, Reading, Social Justice
Ng, Clare, "Creating Inclusive Spaces: Using Book Clubs to Increase Diverse Literature in Schools" (2023). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 976.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects