Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Tiffany Bockelmann


Identity, Perception, Diversity, Reflection, Perspectives


Through a qualitative study, the researcher explored student identity. Students enter into schools with diverse identities and perspectives. To make learning meaningful, engaging, and relevant teachers need to learn about their students’ unique identities. Students deserve a place where they feel safe and empowered to explore themselves, the curriculum, and their futures.

This study focused on two research questions; 1) What impact does learning about students’ identities have on the teacher? 2) How do students perceive their identities are reflected in the curriculum? Qualitative data was collected through a series of journals. Participants in an eighth-grade social studies classroom were asked to share and reflect on their unique and diverse perspectives. Over three weeks, students' journal entries were analyzed for themes and allowed the researcher to reflect on improving the curriculum and school community. This research concluded that students are aware of their identities, reflected in the curriculum, and students’ desire to have better representation. The researcher found that engaging with students’ identities allowed them to be more aware of the needs of students along with a new dedication to creating relevant learning opportunities for all students.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.