As public school classrooms have become increasingly diverse and complex, the curriculummust reflect this to prepare students for their futures. When shaping the curriculum that ourstudents receive, it is important to ensure a well rounded, multicultural education even if theclassroom itself does not reflect a diverse community. This qualitative and quantitative, mixedmethod research study looked at the Massachusetts state guidelines concerning diversityeducation and compared it to what teachers say they are implementing in the classroom as wellas with what students say they learned. This mixed method design includes teacher surveys (n=78), teacher interviews (n=4), and student surveys (n=289). The student surveys asked collegestudents to reflect upon their public middle and high school education experiences. The findingssuggest that students believed that their middle and high school education did not provide aneducation from diverse perspectives. Many teachers expressed that while they understand what itmeans to have a diverse classroom, material that incorporates social justice topics and diversitymay be seen as controversial, therefore they do not integrate it into their curriculum. Themajority of teachers suggested that there is a lack of resources provided by the schools toenhance their comfortability and knowledge around this curriculum integration. In theseformative adolescent years, the information that is provided to children is pertinent in shapingtheir future. This research discovered that there is a mismatch between Massachusetts curriculumguidelines with what is being taught and perceived in the classroom. Recommendations includeproviding teachers with resource pamphlets, including books, articles and websites, that arereadily available for their consultation and sample lesson plans that include themes of diversityand social justice.
School of Social Work
Margaret Boyd Ph.D., MSW, Thesis AdvisorJibril Solomon, Ph.D., Committee MemberKathy Bailey, Ph.D., Committee Member
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Ciatto, Josephine. (2020). Diversity and Social Justice in the Massachusetts Classroom: Teachers Implementation and Students Reflections. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 311. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/311
Copyright © 2020 Josephine Ciatto