Identifier

etd-04082008-104150

Degree

Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA)

Department

Liberal Arts

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The primary purpose of this research was to dissect the state of Louisiana’s comprehensive curriculum and make suggestions for enhancement to a document that is intended to set basic standards for education in all public schools throughout the state. While the Louisiana State Department of Education acknowledged a real need for such a document, the one it originally produced fell short of many educators’ expectations. In taking into consideration the diversity of the state’s students and their heritages, the researcher makes suggestions for enriching the English language arts (ELA) curriculum for secondary students by incorporating a wider variety of multicultural, multiethnic, and women’s literature and writing along with folkloristic teachings. The researcher began her process by consulting several educational authors and texts, namely selected articles by Ogbu and Understanding by Design by McTighe and Wiggins, before embarking on personal interviews during which she conversed with a curriculum writer as well as experienced and respected educators in the Baton Rouge community. Dividing the findings into three categories, the researcher analyzed Louisiana State University’s Laboratory School’s curriculum to serve as a model for advancement of the state’s public schools’ curriculum and then delved into the state’s curriculum to explore what material is being covered in the document. This research is followed by a chapter analyzing the construction of the current comprehensive curriculum and the disconnect that exists between the state’s intended implementation and what is really happening in many schools. Finally, the researcher presents suggestions for diversifying the material and literature being taught by including cultural teachings from a variety of sources designed to envelope students from all ethnicities in the hopes of producing well-rounded and educated world citizens. Suggestions include utilizing the Louisiana Folklife Program and its website to implement a folklore unit within the ELA curriculum allowing students to use a kinesthetic approach to exploring their own and other cultures and working through various resources to discover literature of often times curriculum-neglected cultures, such as Cuban, Cajun and Acadian, Zimbabwean, and Nigerian, as well as women’s writings.

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Solimar Otero

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