Date of Graduation

Fall 12-2016

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Susan Katz

Second Advisor

Monisha Bajaj


There are many constructs that can hinder the ability of students of color to succeed in a classroom environment. Factors such as the construct of whiteness, microaggressions, the banking method, as well as cuts in arts based classes create a learning environment where oppression occurs on multiple levels. The construct of whiteness creates an environment in which only the ideas, values, lived experiences, and knowledge of whites are considered valid. Microaggressions uphold the construct of whiteness by insulting and invalidating any ideas, values, lived experiences, languages, and knowledge that are outside the construct of whiteness. The constructs of whiteness as well as microaggressions create a social and cultural hierarchy. Students of color may detach from their cultural heritage to avoid harassment. The use of the banking method creates an intellectual hierarchy by creating a space in which knowledge is derived from one source. Teachers control what is learned in the classroom and students are expected to remember the information that is being “taught”. In this situation it is uncertain if students are really understanding the material that is being taught or they are just regurgitating information. Lastly cuts in arts based classes create an inequitable learning environment because students are stripped of the opportunity to engage in multimodal learning space. These factors create an inequitable learning environment for students of color. The aim of this project is to provide educators with a curriculum that creates a culturally relevant arts based education through the use of photography and storytelling. This curriculum is based on the ideas of critical pedagogy, community cultural wealth, culturally relevant education, arts based education, photography, storytelling, as well as collaborative education. Together these concepts reconstruct a different type of learning space; one that is calls upon, utilizes, and driven by the lived experiences, values, knowledge, and ideas of students of color. Students of color will be able to identify and analyze various topic such as identity, community, culture, power, love, and inspiration/ aspiration. The use of photography and storytelling will allow students of color to artistically portray their ideas while engaging in a collaborative learning space. The main objective of this project is to provide students of color an opportunity to appreciate and value their culture while being able to express themselves artistically.