Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Elizabeth Currin


The purpose of this study was to determine what curricular and pedagogical changes connect with diverse high school students in an American literature course. Using a participatory action research approach, I collected qualitative data through interviews, observation, and narratives from a student focus group and myself. Data collection spanned an 18-week semester and involved students of varying racial and cultural backgrounds who identified as male, female, and nonbinary. The 12 focus group members were 11th-grade students at a public high school near Charlotte, North Carolina. The results signified that to increase student agency, teachers should offer diverse texts, pieces written by contemporary authors, high-interest writings, and hands-on activities. These findings informed an action plan for creating a classroom setting that promotes cultural inclusivity while employing a diverse curriculum.


© 2023, Holly R. Bradshaw

Included in

Education Commons