Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



The highly Anglicized cannon of literature found in American high schools, combined with an antiquated and oversimplified literacy pedagogy, is leaving students disengaged and lacking a nuanced understanding of the literature. Consequently, intermediate and novice learners fail to develop proficient comprehension of assigned materials. This is due to two significant problems: (1) a lack of culturally relevant pedagogy and cultural responsiveness, and (2) a lack of historical, social, and cultural schema. By examining and connecting sociocultural theory, reader response theory, and schema theory, this project will create an instructional framework to facilitate student engagement within an English language arts classroom. It will also explore the scaffolding necessary within a unit of literacy instruction and novel study to enhance literary and cultural comprehension. The framework will emphasize the importance of building prior knowledge, while focusing on transferable skills through the emphasis of choice and inquiry framed by essential questions. This will be accomplished through student-led dialogic inquiry and metacognitive reflection, as well as the utilization of multiple literacies and a diverse class library, to reflect our globalizing and digitizing society and promote student praxis.