You Come Before the Class


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MA in Cultural Sustainability

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What is belonging and how do you cultivate it in a middle school classroom community? This capstone's goal was to create and implement a middle school curriculum that will explicitly teach belonging to a group of students through a variety of lessons. The goal of these lessons was to build a community of belonging and respect. The lessons were implemented and included reflections by the teacher-researcher and the students. The data from the teacher-researcher was based on reflections of what was observed during the lessons. The data from the students was based on what was said during the lessons, post-lesson exit tickets, and interviews that occurred before and after the range of lessons. Educational programs are part of Cultural Sustainability, which impacts all of society because educating future generations about belonging will help students become engaged participants in their community. Delving into their identity will allow students to authentically belong, which also encourages a sustainable culture. Investigating and cultivating a culture of belonging in a middle school setting fostered relationships, impacted students, and cultivated attitudes of understanding and community in diverse and ethical ways.