Examining the influence of multicultural literature on students’ perspectives to be agents of change.

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African American and Latinx youth from low-income neighborhoods face insurmountable odds in public education; these disempowering educational experiences challenge students’ academic, social, and cultural significance in the fabric of what it means to be a product of public schooling. By using multicultural literature, the implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy serves as a conduit for empowering students to become critical thinkers and justice-oriented citizens. Using the theoretical lens of critical pedagogy, this study examines how multicultural literature influences students to become agents of change. Harnessing a phenomenological case-study approach, five participants from the Baylor University Freedom Schools program will be interviewed to share in their experiences about reading multicultural literature and its impact on their development of civic action. It is hoped that findings from this study will inform classroom practices by encouraging the use of multicultural literature, in that, students develop self-advocacy to promote social justice.

Multicultural literature. Critical pedagogy. Agents of change. Justice-oriented citizenship.