Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Toby Kahn-Loftus

Second Advisor

Deanna Roland

Third Advisor

Dini Metro-Roland


For years, multicultural curriculum has been accepted as "normal curriculum" sprinkled with various holidays celebrated by non-white cultures and the occasional multicultural book. As a result, many students graduate from high school and college ignorant of the various cultures present in our communities, states, our country, and our world. Myself, and others such as Paulo Friere (educator and author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed) and Susan Piazza (associate professor of literacy studies at Western Michigan University), believe that multicultural curriculum should be much more. For teachers to create a thoughtful, reflective, substantive multicultural curriculum they must intentionally create what Susan Piazza calls a 'third space" in the classroom as "a way to turn traditional texts, curricula, and our everyday practices into powerful tools that help teachers and students negotiate new understandings about the world we live in." My overarching goal for this curriculum design is to envision how that "third space" can be created in a student-centered upper-elementary classroom. This curriculum uses thought-provoking activities, simulations, and rich picture books as a starting point for discussion. Depending on the ethnic make-up and beliefs prevalent in each classroom, the discussions laid out in this curriculum may look quite different from classroom to classroom. By giving students the opportunity to discuss and think about their thinking related to multicultural relations, students will not learn what to think, but how to think.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access