Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Education

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Marisol Ruiz

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Eric Van Duzer

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



In 1954, the Supreme Court voted to end segregation in American public schools. However, this landmark decision did not end racism, discrimination, and inequality. Students of color continue to be invisible across the curriculum. This study is a qualitative teacher action research. The purpose of the study was to assess school personnel perceptions and attitudes toward multicultural education in a rural northern California district, and how the implementation of multicultural literature changes perceptions and attitudes in fourth grade students. The setting for the study took place in Steelhead Elementary, located in a rural section of Northern California. Participants included K-8 educators, bilingual aides, and 60 fourth grade students. Teachers were given a survey, engaged in focus groups, and participated in interviews that measured their general cultural awareness. Students participated in a social justice, critical multicultural literacy curriculum. Major findings include lack of teacher cultural diversity awareness, lack of teacher support for multicultural practices, problematic curriculum, and student consciousness development. This research concludes that critical multicultural literature is essential for addressing racism, discrimination, and lack of cultural representation in the classroom.

Citation Style

Pelayo, L. (2017). Multicultural education: Changes in perceptions and attitudes in fourth graders (Master's thesis).