Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

McIntyre, Christie

Second Advisor

Bacon, Heidi


This qualitative case study connects the topics of home literacy practices and the development of intercultural understanding. I investigated how three Iranian immigrant families’ home literacy practices and lived experiences contributed to the development of their preschool children’s intercultural understandings. The study drew from sociocultural and ecological theories to understand the role of culture and social interaction in children’s emergent literacies and global awareness. Data were collected from observations and interviews and analyzed through two cycles of coding that generated four overarching themes: literacy environment and practices, families’ funds of knowledge, families’ understandings of literacy and technology, and facilitation of intercultural understanding. The study found that families engaged their children in bilingual and multiple literacies in multiple modalities. This, coupled with the families’ funds of knowledge and their daily conversations, afforded opportunities for developing the children’s intercultural understanding. The families supported their children’s global awareness by reading and discussing global literature that provided a context in which the children played their way into understanding their own and other cultures. The findings of this study suggest far-reaching implications for educators, teachers, family literacy programs, and curriculum designers by emphasizing integration of students’ funds of knowledge and home literacy practices into classrooms and stressing the significant role of play and inquiry in developing children’s literacies and intercultural understanding. The implications contribute to developing culturally responsive resource pedagogies and creating global curricula.

Available for download on Friday, June 16, 2023




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