Lu LuFollow

Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

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This ethnography reflects my mind-shift of effective education and my journey teaching fourth-graders in Diamond Bar community in Los Angeles. Its purpose is to demonstrate how knowing my students beyond their academic level allows me to better support them, their parents, and their communities. I conducted case studies on three of my students in order to collect data and learn from the experience. I interviewed those three students individually and conducted a home visit with each of their family. After analyzing the data and information I collected from the interviews, communications, observations, and interactions, I was able to design individual action plans to support these three students’ academic and socio-emotional growth. In addition, I researched on the environments surrounding my students, including community, school, and classroom. The experience and problematizing processes of attending the community events, reading my school’s vision and mission, and reflecting on my classroom ecology helped me realized how these environments impact my students’ learning and what I can do as an educator to create culturally-responsive learning spaces for them. Utilizing all these data to reflect on my personal and professional development, I realized I’ve developed an asset-based mindset and I’ve had significant growth in culturally-responsive and social justice education. My journey of becoming a critical social justice educator is to be continued. Keywords: classroom ecology, positionality, social justice, culturally-responsive teaching, community, socio-emotional learning