Perceptions of social justice : a multiple case study of how teacher attitudes about social justice and the use of the Culturally Responsive Text Decision Tree influence how elementary literacy teachers choose interactive read-aloud texts.
This study presented information that added to the previous research on culturally relevant and responsive pedagogical practices as reflected in literacy teachers’ interactive read-aloud text choices. The need for cultural awareness on the part of the educator due to the political trends of 2021 restricting educator’s speech, dictating a presentation of points of view from all sides of historical events, and with new initiatives targeting the types of texts kept on a classroom shelf has become increasingly more important. In addition, the educator’s ability to understand their culture and the cultures of their students influences their ability to choose culturally appropriate interactive read-aloud texts for their classrooms, which is a skill that needs development. The researcher implemented a qualitative multiple case study design that relied on data collection through various sources. These sources included a demographic questionnaire, two semi-structured interviews, and a meeting with the researcher to discuss using the Culturally Responsive Text Decision Tree. The utilization of multiple data sources enabled the researcher to voice the lived experiences of the eight participants to answer the research questions presented. The researcher analyzed the data using the a priori combined theoretical frameworks of Ladson-Billings (1995a), Hammond & Jackson (2015), Gay (2018), Bishop (2002), and Picower (2012). Three main themes from the study connected the lived experiences of the eight literacy teacher participants. The concepts of understanding the situational dependence of events, the need to create a just world, and the ability to move beyond surface culture influenced each participant’s choice when considering interactive read-aloud texts for their classrooms. Due to this study, district- and campus-level curriculum coordinators and administrators must create opportunities to discuss and implement culturally appropriate interactive read-aloud texts within the elementary campus setting. District initiatives focused on pedagogical improvement should include time and resources for culturally relevant and responsive professional development.