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Multiculturalism in Cinderella

Page history last edited by Heeba Kaleem 7 years, 5 months ago

 Multiculturalism in Cinderella Project

Team MembersHeeba KaleemMicaela Baker, Steven Garcia Katelyn HartvigsenGabriela Medina

Team Annotated Bibliographies: Heeba Kaleem, Micaela Baker, Steven Garcia, Katelyn Hartvigsen, Gabriela Medina

Team Research Reports: Heeba Kaleem, Micaela Baker, Steven Garcia, Katelyn Hartvigsen, Gabriela Medina


Yeh-Shen, a Chinese Cinderella tale from the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.)


Multiculturalism in Cinderella: Power Point Presentation



  "Multiculturalism in Cinderella" explores the classic fairytale, Cinderella, and its variants from different cultures and time periods. The objective of this project is to have students explore a familiar story in its different permutations in order for them to gain multicultural education and make education more inclusive to all students through technology.



     This team's members are aspiring for a career in education, which is why they decided to focus on creating a project that would be useful in classrooms. Their goal was to create a lesson for middle school students which would both teach students about different cultures and be interactive using Cinderella stories from around the world, presenting them in a creative format online. Due to the Eurocentric focus in many lesson plans, students who come from a variety of cultures feel alienated and do not perform as well as students who learn about their culture and see themselves represented in class. In addition to cultural diversity, Team Four also wanted to focus on learning diversity, which are the three types of learning; auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Teachers cannot cater to all these needs at once without connecting students with technology. In this age where technology is an integral part of lives, using technology would help prepare students for the future.

     To meet these goals, this team will use Tumblr to post blog entries that are written from the point of view of the characters in various Cinderella stories from around the world. Using blog entries will engage students and make learning about different culture feel more personal. This team will also use StoryMap JS, which will help students visualize the many different Cinderella variations in an interactive format. Both these tools engage students in all three types of learning and will ensure that the lesson is effective.



     The research for "Multiculturalism in Cinderella" involves two complex concepts. The first is the rising phenomenon of technology in the classroom. The second are the benefits of multicultural education. Team Four hopes to explore the advantages of intricately intertwining these two ideas for the betterment of the classroom.  

     For centuries, education has only consisted of textbooks. However our generation has witnessed a global shift to a more technologically based culture. By not implementing technology into the classroom, educators would be doing their students a disservice because schools are meant to prepare students for the work force which is largely inclusive of technology. (McFarlane) With this in mind, introducing children to technology at an early age will benefit their futures by better preparing them for more complex assignments and jobs. (Singh) Technology has the potential to transform a child’s academic career by introducing a more personal learning experience and by promoting creativity. (Loyola) Because all students work from individual computers and tablets, technology encourages more active mental work by allowing students to define their own goals and make their own decisions. 

     Technology benefits all types of learners whether that be a visual, auditory, kinesthetic or special needs learner. This will result in less children falling behind in class because it widens the variety of options for presenting material in the best and most appealing way for each student. (Boundless) It meets them at their varying developments and fosters each child’s individual growth. Teachers have the opportunity of monitoring their students’ progress which will help aid their knowledge in how to assist individual students. (Hendricks)

     Through the elimination of paper and textbooks, students will always have the most updated versions of literature through their computers or tablets. (Smith) Focusing on understanding the relationship between children and digital media is the first step to better implement these technological practices into the classroom. The need to modernize learning through digital media is great because often times, students are already using these forms of communication. Bringing technology into the classroom will help to broaden the understanding of literacy and promote learning opportunities that are exciting for the students. (Scherer) Additionally, technology acts as resource for group projects. There are various different programs students can use to interact and work together without being in the same room. 

     Furthermore, these connections can go beyond simply group or class projects. Through the use of technology, universal connections can be made. Students have an easier access to cultures outside of their own. Global awareness in the early years encourages students to see things from many different perspectives developing good life skills and allowing a decrease in racial or cultural prejudices in the classroom (Picardo). This is beneficial because prominent issues concerning race in education are still present in regards to lower standardized scores, differences in classroom placement and drop out rates. By allowing for more cross culture learning and development, society can begin to bridge this racial gap that currently exists and move to a more culturally and globally aware education system. Learning about multiculturalism in the classroom should not be treated out of the ordinary but rather, it should become a core aspect of a child’s educational career. Through various forms of literature and multiculturalism integration, it opens up a possibility to bring people of all ethnic origins, races and backgrounds together. (Miller) However, in order for this idea to be successful, it must be ongoing and integrated daily in both formal and informal activities. (Boutte) Expressing ideas through literature is a universal tactic. Exploring different pieces of literature from around the globe will help children to understand themes surrounding language, culture, and power as well as develop them into more culturally aware and diverse people. (Williams)

     From an educators’ perspective, it is vital to see the implementation of multiculturalism in the classroom. The most beneficial and efficient way of to do this is through the use of technology. Technology is the easiest and most useful medium for teachers to use in incorporating multi cultural learning and exposure. 



     Research supports the transition to a technologically based classroom as well as the importance of multicultural learning. The most effective way to do this is through carefully combining the two ideas.

     "Multiculturalism in Cinderella" strives to offer educators with an easy and efficient way to better their classrooms by providing every student with a more developed sense of global awareness and respect for all cultures. Cinderella is the best piece of literature for a project like this because it is a universal text. However, it is not the same text in every culture but it is adapted to fit the cultural norms for each location including language, style, wardrobe, etc. Implementing different versions of Cinderella  onto a blog site as a means for students to explore the new stories is best because it makes multicultural learning interactive as well as appealing. Students are able to follow the lives of the different “Cinderellas’” as they write from their various homes and cultures. They can choose to read them all together as if the characters were interacting with one another or they can read them country by country.The blogs will open up discussion between students and lead to a deeper understanding of the text. Additionally, they have the opportunity to write “comments” to the different Cinderellas so that when they review their notes, they can clearly see their reactions as related to each specific story. By implementing a narrator, students are able to read the correlations between the cultural adaptations as related to historical context. Furthermore, this layout allows students to look it up and access it on any device. 

     In addition to the blog, "Multiculturalism in Cinderella" includes a Story Map of various Cinderellas around the world to emphasize the universality of the text. This is also helpful because students will be able to visually see the locations of various countries which have adapted the story in their own way. Story map is a good, easy to use visual. Through the combination of the blog site and the story map, "Multiculturalism in Cinderella" has produced a project which begins  to progressively move education in a positive direction towards the future.


Closing Thoughts 

     In conclusion, the best way to improve current classrooms is to provide more cultural awareness through the use of technology. Many students are accustomed to being stimulated in many ways through their televisions, computers and phones but when reflected back to the classroom, they have trouble focusing on their textbooks, worksheets or information on the board, “Multiculturalism in Cinderella’’ solves this issue by incorporating technology into a classroom setting. Teachers will be be perceived as facilitators or guides in this new model classroom allowing students to self explore their own topics of interest. Students will be learning different cultures in depth from the blog site, Tumblr, as well as expanding their geographical knowledge and awareness through the site, Story Map. By presenting a topic of multicultural learning through the use of technology, “Multiculturalism in Cinderella” strives to move the classroom from traditional to modernized. 


Tumblr: Multiculturalism in Cinderella


Story Map 




Boundless. "Advantages of Using Technology in the Classroom." Boundless. Boundless Education, 3 July 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.


     Boundless Education acknowledges the importance of computer skills and other forms of technological skills in our society. It is still common for educators to feel that technology should not be brought into a classroom which is why Boundless Education urges educators to embrace technology and help their students strive. Boundless emphasizes the importance of technology in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) which are all fields of rising popularity for professions. They discuss the importance for children to have a basis of technological skills so they can easily acquire more advance knowledge in their field.

      Boundless makes it clear how important technology is throughout different professional fields, but also how important it is for different types of learners. Technology allows for easy and quick adaptability for different types of learners whether that be a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or special needs learner. This would mean there would be less children falling behind in class. They describe technology as being more interactive so children have to learn to play many roles at once such as being a reader, writer, and an editor when working on one project. 


Boutte, Gloria S. and Christine McCormick. "Authentic Multicultural Activities: Avoiding Pseudomulticulturalism." Childhood Education 68 (1992): 140-44.


     Boutte and McCormick explain “pseudomulticuluralism;” a term that explains how some current education practices that may seem like they are integrating different cultures into their lesson plans but are instead isolating in nature and are discontinuous, which means hat they have no serious merit in furthering multicultural learning. They state, “Authentic multicultural activities are ongoing and integrated daily in both informal and formal activities” (140).

     The paper explains six issues that aim to help teachers deliberate on and improve upon in their multicultural views and practices:  1) building multicultural programs, 2) showing appreciation of differences, 3) avoiding stereotypes, 4) acknowledging differences in children, 5) discovering diversity within the classroom, and 6) avoiding pseudomulticulturalism. The paper encourages teachers reflect on their own teaching styles to find any instances of unintended discrimination or pseudmulticulturalism practices. Additionally, the paper also includes strategies to help teachers take an authentic approach to integrating multicultural learning in their classroom. Boutte and McCormick state that each strategy has the basis of being built upon personal experiences, research, and logic. 


Hendricks, Drew. "A Look at Recent Findings on Technology in the Classroom." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.


     Hendricks addresses that fact that all children develop and grow and varying speeds just as they learn at varying speeds. He declares the importance of not over-stressing a child by attempting to learn part 2 of a lesson when the child is still attempting to learn part 1. He continues on to explain that there are many technological tools available for these children to help them keep up with their peers. Not only that but that there are other tools available to help teachers keep track of their students progress. This way it is easier for a teacher to keep better tabs on students and give extra help to whoever may need it.

     According to Hendricks, by giving this extra attention to struggling students, it allows for an increase in self-esteem not only academically but all around for a student. This self-confidence boost would actually be the first steps to closing the learning gap in the education system across our nation. He claims keeping track of this with students would become easier for the teacher because technology allows lesson plans to be more interactive for students with the use of smartboards unlike the traditional verbal lesson by a teacher. By making it more interactive the student has to pay closer attention.


Loyola, Sarah Wike. "The Most Powerful Tool in the Classroom." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014


     In Loyolas' article, she talks about how for centuries the only way students could learn were from their teachers or from their textbooks. She explains how she remembers the dreadful times when she would have to open a textbook and have to fight to stay awake. She asserts that as times have changed so has the way of learning, and every classroom should begin to be centered around the student to promote creativity and a more personal learning experience- this is only possible if teachers take advantage of technology. 

     She then goes on to explain that the hardest part of this for teachers is letting go of the control of the classroom- but it is necessary to better the learning for their students. The classroom does become more lively and chaotic but it is a small sacrifice for the benefits achieved from this type of learning. 

     She offers this example about what she does with her students in AP Spanish:  "I divide them into small groups and give them time to investigate on their own. Once they have researched the topic, I have them make a poster using the Explain Everything App that demonstrates their results." Loyola states that if students do not have an iPad, they can use actual poster board. Then, they present their poster and their discoveries to their classmates. She explains how she helps them through the process, but they teach themselves and their peers the material.


McFarlane, Angela. Authentic Learning for the Digital Generation: Realising the Potential of Technology in the Classroom. Print.


     The Author Angela McFarlane of this book is actually an advisor to many current governments around the world when it comes to the topic of technology in education. McFarlane comes up with the challenging thesis that currently schools are not teaching students as well as they could, that they are depriving them of a better education by putting bands on their electronic devices. She believes schools are falling behind. For example they did not begin incorporating computer labs in most schools until the late 80s and 90s, and that some schools computer labs today are outdated. She states schools need to embrace the concept of a personal tablet for students to broaden resources. McFarlane argues that later on in life these kids are expected to know how to operate a computer and a variety of programs on them, or how to use a search engine correctly. These kids are expected to know these skills from birth when they clearly do not. But were in fact discouraged from using them for educational purposes. Schools are meant to prepare students for the work force, not make the transition into it more difficult. 


Miller, Howard. "Middle Ground: Beyond "Multicultural Moments" The English Journal 86.5 (1997): 88-90. JSTOR. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.


     Miller argues his belief that learning about multiculturalism in the classroom should not be treated out of the ordinary.  Instead of continuing the belief that American culture is the default, Miller states that, through literature and integration of multiculturalism in the classroom, that it would be possible to bring people of all “ethnic origins, races, and backgrounds together” (90).

     Miller gives five “levels” to instruct teachers on how to normalize multiculturalism in the classroom. Firstly, in “Building a Classroom Library of Multicultural Literature,” he notes that just having books and stories from different cultures present can open students’ minds to the world and “enlarge their cultural perspectives” (88). The second level, “Using Lit Sets to Promote Multicultural Understanding,” demonstrates how bringing copies of the same book and having students work on it in small groups can be effective because it further immerses them through discussion and writing. In the third level, “The Whole Class Novel,” he explains that small groups may not work and suggests that a novel be assigned to the whole class so that the teacher as well as the students can learn more about the other culture they’re reading about. Next, in “Interdisciplinary Study,” Miller encourages teachers to have students learn about the culture in context of the story and uses an anecdote of his own experience to strengthen his argument. Finally, in “Beyond Literature,” Miller urges teachers to involve parents in the multicultural learning of their child because it can reinforce what is taught in class.


Picardo, Jose. "Why Students Need a Global Awareness and Understanding of Other Cultures." Teacher-network. Theguardian, 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.


     In this article, Picardo explains how important it is for students to have a good understanding of other cultures in order to be able to explore new ideas and prospects, and see the world through a new set of eyes. It is much more likely in this day in age that students have travelled abroad or accessed information about other culture on the Internet, but it is very important for teachers to guide students through the process of this discovery. According to Picardo, students come to learn that in many ways people from other cultures react and behave in very similar ways, but it is the small differences that help students learn s much about others as well as themselves.

     Picardo details the use of social media sites such as Twitter, Skype, and Google maps which allows students to sight see and get accustomed to other cultures from the comfort of their own home or classroom. Global awareness, especially in the early years, encourages students to see things from many different perspectives and helps decrease racial or cultural prejudices in the classroom. He states that this awareness leads students to develop skills that will be useful to them for the rest of their life.


Scherer, Michael. “The Paperless Classroom Is Coming.” Time 184.15 (2014): 36-38. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.


     Scherer highlights President Obama’s goal regarding the federal effort to get a laptop, tablet or smartphone into the hands of every student in every school in the US. He hopes to get all 49.8 million American kids online simultaneously by 2017. Scherer discusses the objective of moving everything into the digital world such as replacing bulky textbooks with flat screens or storing worksheets and assignments in the cloud. The article explains that the paperless learning environment is environmentally friendly and also represents the result of technology transforming the classroom. In one particular classroom in northern California, one teacher has gone completely digital where he believes that students have more engaging lessons with interactive videos and the activities for math and reading are adapted to the skill level of each child. Scherer discusses a potential problem with the digital classroom being if every classroom converts to digital learning, this would result in a large amount of learning teachers and parents who would have to catch on to the new trend. Optometrists also warn that an increase to blue-light exposure from screens can lead to eye problems later in life. The argument being explored is that a lot of money is placed in implementing more technology into the classroom without it being proven to be completely successful. Scherer discusses the idea behind implementing technology. It is to create a classroom filled with more engaged students because the tools that they use outside the classroom are now being brought inside to make learning more appealing. 


Singh, Ram, Dr. "Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students"Archived: Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students. U.S Department of Education, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.


     In this research project, the U.S Department of education aimed to study the effect that technology has on both students and teachers in the classroom. The results show a beneficial change in the roles of students and teachers, allowing students to take on the usually active role of the teacher as opposed to the passive role of receiving the information by hearing, reading from a textbook etc. The article explains that when the students use technology as opposed to other methods of learning they can define their own goals, make their own decisions, and encourage more active mental work. Instead of the teacher being the center of attention, the teacher can help on a more personal level and go to each student individually or answer questions individually, so students that are more shy can benefit as well. 

     According to the U.S Department of education, with technology becoming the center of our world, a technology-based learning style teaches students beginning skills of technology early on and therefore are able to handle more complex assignments. Students are also able to learn to work more closely with peers and through certain programs can do group work and projects much more easily. As the article states, students are inclined to look at and use much more outside resources and have the ability to look at thousands of other articles or websites to help better the understanding of what they are learning.


 Smith, Paul. "Great Benefits of Technology in Education." EdTechReview. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.


     Mr. Smith takes a new approach when discussing the benefits of technology in a classroom. He decides begin with a benefit such as using less paper in all classrooms. This would save billions of pieces of paper throughout the country. A long with the paper it would decrease the number of printed textbooks in a classroom. This would mean no more outdated textbooks in classrooms, but the most up-to-date information for students an almost any given topic. Smith continues talking about other benefits such as how easily accessible education can become. As students get older they may find themselves having to dropout of school because they do not have the time, finances, or health to stay in school. Nowadays with online schools it is possible for individuals to obtain a degree while maintaining full-time jobs, because of their new flexible school schedule. These virtual schools can also maintain a student focused because they are not forced to sit at a desk for a certain amount of time, but can adjust their learning time to their own attention span. And although the student may not be physically present in a classroom, there is still a teacher at their disposal as well who can help facilitate their education and make sure they are progressing at a beneficial pace for the student.  


Williams, Bronwyn T. “Around The Block And Around The World: Teaching Literacy Across Cultures.” Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 51.6 (2008):510-514, Academic Search Complete


     Williams first draws attention that children of today’s generation have much more access to cross culture learning than past generations simply because of the advances in technology. The point is made that for some students, exposure comes through their pastimes, such as online video game playing. The argument made is that by engaging children in these cultures we are beginning fruitful and enriching conversations about what they have encountered, what they’ve understood and what they have been confused by that will help make them more culturally aware and diverse in society as they grow older. 

     He explains that various languages and literary works can be brought from all over the world into the classroom. Teachers can be challenged to assign their students to engage in discussions about how they would communicate with various cultures exploring how and why languages vary from place to place. He provides an example, children can be tested to determine why differences in Chinese language versus English language fits perspective countries. 

     According to Williams, the goal of a project like this is to explore, discuss and reflect on the question of culture and identity and how this affects questions of ‘who has power?’, ‘who decides what is correct?’, and ‘how is identity presented through the portrayal of the piece?’. This type of a project will help to motivate students to navigate through other cultures through the eyes of those who know them best. By doing this, Williams believes that students will gain a sense of respect for other walks of life and other cultures outside their own. Additionally, they will better be able to appreciate their own culture and identity because they will be able to pin point what that is to them in relation to cultures around the world. 


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