Designing a Culturally Relevant Curriculum for Immigrant Mexican American Fifth-Grade Students
AuthorJimenez, Alicia Cruz
AdvisorShort, Kathy G
Committee ChairShort, Kathy G
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to design a culturally relevant curriculum that could be used with English language learning, Mexican American, immigrant, fifth grade children and study the responses they might have to that curriculum. The research questions were: What are the issues in developing a culturally relevant curriculum for Mexican American fifth graders? What are the responses of teachers and children to a culturally relevant curriculum?This study utilizes qualitative research and action research methods. A reading club was formed at an elementary school site and Mexican American children with at least one parent born in Mexico were invited to participate in the study. 21 children opted to attend the club, though only five children, three girls and two boys were the focus of the study. They participated in 21 hours of club meeting times. Data collected included interviews, observational field notes, questionnaires, taped session transcripts, and a collection of written artifacts. Categories were constructed for data analysis using Hickman's (1979) reading response model.The findings show that the children responded enthusiastically and positively to the content of the curriculum. The club gave them an opportunity to demonstrate prior knowledge of Mexican history in a U.S. school setting. Their teachers reported the children gained "voice" in the classroom and an eagerness for learning. The children self-reported they had a greater interest in reading and wanted to participate in another club in their next school year.The club setting for this study allowed the children to embrace books that reflected their history and culture. Discussions and interest ran high throughout the study, with the children often requesting more frequency in club meetings.This action research springs from studies by Gloria Ladson Billings, A. B. Osborne, James Banks, and my own Southwest Paradigm which embraces the rich cultural traditions and background of the inhabitants of the Southwest. The dissertation offers teachers and educators topics and subjects of study pertinent to the history of Mexican Americans in the U.S.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture