Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


This paper considers the perceptions and interactions of a teacher and students in a college freshman English course. The researcher examined how multicultural literature was incorporated into that course and how students responded to the selections and classroom activities.

The study followed an inductive methodology; that is, abstractions were based upon observations and experiences from the participants rather than deduced from prior theories. Classroom observations, in-depth interviews, and course written documents provided data for analysis.

Based on this study’s data collection and analysis, three themes emerged: First, the teacher’s authenticity as a person and teacher contributed to a meaningful learning experience for the participants; second, active, student- centered learning experiences provided students opportunities to explore their own questions and ideas; and, third, the strong sense of connectedness in the class setting facilitated positive engagement for the participants within the learning community. Data suggested that text, teaching style, instructional method, class activities, and interactions among teacher, students, and outside voices all contributed to the development of students’ understanding of other cultures.