Hometown: North Attleboro
Majors: Elementary Education, Spanish
Project: Who is in Your Classroom Library?: An Exploration of Early Childhood Educators’ Usage of Multicultural Literature in the Classroom
Mentor: Dr. Jeanne Carey Ingle (Elementary and Early Childhood Education)
My project focused on how early childhood educators effectively use high-quality multicultural children’s books in the classroom. During the summer of 2019, I conducted a research study at an early education and care facility in Southeastern Massachusetts.
I led a training workshop to educate teachers on how to analyze multicultural books for accuracy and appropriateness, as well as ways to use them in the classroom. The teachers also participated in pre- and post-training surveys that assisted me in understanding their skills in analyzing and utilizing such literature in the classroom.
I am especially interested in this topic because I have a strong belief that students should be exposed to cultural narratives other than their own. To ensure this is done properly, educators must be trained. I took the initiative to educate teachers on how they can be sure that their students have access to multicultural children’s books that are appropriate and accurate.
Books are the cornerstone of education. If teachers are going to use multicultural literature, then they need to do so appropriately. Also, teachers in early childhood education have a significant impact on the lives of many children. If teachers are unable to properly use or access high-quality multicultural children’s literature, then they are doing a disservice to their students. My work is especially important because it not only educates teachers and, subsequently, students, but also validates narratives from varying cultures.