Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Edmund T. Hamann. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2016

Copyright (c) 2016 Kari Loecker


The purpose of this practitioner research study was to examine the implementation of a culturally responsive poetry unit in a majority Latino middle school in Nebraska. The experiences of Latino and non-Latino eighth-grade language arts students were documented in an effort to understand the level of engagement and conclusions drawn from the poetry. This study also explores the effectiveness of using a multicultural poetry unit to address state standards. Data sources include student written work, whole-class and individual discussions, pre and post surveys, and daily entries in a teacher research journal. Latino students found the poetry to be representative of their experiences as bicultural and bilingual citizens. Non-Latino students acquired an increased cross-cultural understanding. Additionally, while there did appear to be an increased understanding of poetry and the standards among students, it did not translate to an increased appreciation of poetry.

Advisor: Edmund T. Hamann