Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2019 Grace C Birkenbeuel


This ethnography traces my journey teaching kindergarten in the Pico Union neighborhood in Los Angeles. Its purpose is to understand the macro and micro levels of the community to inform my teaching practices and support my students and families. On a micro-level, I conducted case studies on three specific students. Data analysis of in-home interviews, personal interactions, and assessments allowed me to create action plans to best support these students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. On a macro level, I studied my students’ environments: community, school, and classroom. Attending community events, learning about my school’s mission, and reflecting on my classroom culture and expectations, I internalized how students’ environments plays a role in their education. By analyzing whole class and individual student data and reflecting on my own development, I grew as a professional educator and became an effective and socially just teacher.