Date of Award

Fall 12-19-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Amy Shema

Abstract

This qualitative study examined how third grade teachers are teaching about diverse cultures in Africa, and how students in Upstate New York have learned about these diverse cultures. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase One included lesson activities taught to a classroom of fourth grade students. Phase Two included seven semi-structured interviews with teachers about their experiences teaching third grade social studies. Phase One activities comprised of students writing and discussing their understandings of African cultures during group discussions, engagement with hands-on activities, and a critical analysis of a children's book. Teachers in Phase Two explained their methods and rationale for teaching about diverse cultures in Africa as well as difficulties they have encountered in this area. Student and teacher responses were analyzed separately for frequency and identification of themes. Themes across Phases One and Two were considered together and findings were identified. Findings and implications offer several teaching strategies to provide students with authentic lessons and information about diverse cultures in Africa. Implications of this study suggest there are many ways to ensure students engage with meaningful material on diverse cultures in Africa.

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