Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Waggoner, Jan E.

Second Advisor

Colyar, Julia

Third Advisor

McIntyre, D. John


The demographic imperative drives a fundamental tenet of multicultural education: We must more thoroughly acknowledge US diversity by incorporating authentic ethnic heritage in social studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate recommendations, from three levels of educators, on content form and medium for preservice social studies teachers in using resources for an ethnic minority relevant to the state of Illinois and US history, the Illinois Indians. I also explored how varied participant perspectives informed those recommendations and gave meaning to multicultural education via such content.

Research questions involved perceptions, attributes, and needs of preservice social studies teachers. Data sources encompassed: (1) interviews and focus groups from curriculum specialists, experienced teachers, and preservice teachers; (2) demographic data and critiques of eight mediums, to position participants relative to multicultural concepts and medium usage in social studies. The mediums were: professors, textbooks, children’s literature, news outlets, museums, popular and documentary film, and digital resources. Findings included participant recommendations for: pedagogical content knowledge form; (mediums) digital resources and museum discovery kits, children’s literature (elementary grades). Constant comparison analysis yielded educational perspectives reflecting multicultural education challenges as addressed by emergent participant themes and identified educator dispositions. These findings have implications for: (1) utilizing authentic ethnic minority content in social studies methods classes; (2) designing prepackaged pedagogical content knowledge; (3) examining multicultural education approach vs. historical thinking approach; (4) informing the rift between academic historians and social studies adherents. (5) Findings also led to development of the Tree of Growth Model reflecting educator dispositions.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.