Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Peggy Shannon-Baker

Committee Member 3

Sonia Janis

Committee Member 3 Email



This study explored how preservice teachers understand culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP) and used multicultural children’s literature (MCL) as a way of enacting CSP in their field placement experiences. This qualitative study utilized the theoretical framework of culturally sustaining pedagogy (Paris & Alim, 2017) and a single case study design (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2018) to explore five preservice teachers’ understanding and perceptions of CSP and its enactment in the classroom through MCL during their final student teaching semester in their hometowns. Data collected through lesson plans, literature lists, video recordings, and semi-structured interviews and then inductively coded through holistic coding and subcoding (Creswell & Poth, 2018; Saldaña, 2016). After pattern coding the subcodes and analyzing the data, the themes surrounding CSP showed that students believed CSP related to sociocultural and academic knowledge of students and the use of location and real life examples within the classroom. When analyzing MCL use as enactment of CSP, the themes of selecting MCL by content, academic abilities and student interests emerged. These findings all showed that participants needed greater instruction on the tenets of CSP in education preparation programs and modeling of practical teaching strategies, such as the use of MCL, to use in the classroom. The participants in this study were able to build connections with students, but unable to dig deeper into the cultural backgrounds, as they focused on student preferences and interests, and therefore were unable to select MCL as an enactment of CSP (Paris & Alim, 2017). The lack of knowledge of the foundational tenets of CSP and its enactment in the classroom were major findings from the data. Due to this, educator preparation programs need to provide stronger instruction around diversity, cultural and equity pedagogies to equip future teachers for the diverse student population they will teach through their content and methods courses.

Research Data and Supplementary Material