Major Papers


multimodal picture books, culturally inclusive/responsive teaching, funds of knowledge, multiliteracies, transformative learning, anti-oppressive practices, early childhood education


Multimodal picture books are a critical component of children’s literacy development, and in a multicultural province such as Ontario, it is vital that literacy development include cultural literacy. The demographics of the province’s classrooms are increasingly diverse; however, minoritized cultures are underrepresented among teachers, and there are sparse training mandates related to cultural inclusion. Thus, Ontario’s culturally diverse student body is encountering a number of barriers related to gender, ethnicity, perceived race, sexual identity, ability, class, and other social markers. To provide teachers with the tools needed to support their students, the current study utilizes a theoretical framework derived from anti-oppressive practices to identify where students encounter barriers. The work examines the strengths and limitations of the traditional canon of children’s multimodal picture books and explores the ways in which more inclusive works can support a culturally inclusive learning environment. Based on this, a culturally responsive selection process is outlined. The study employs a multiliteracies framework to propose classroom activities and assessment models that promote and assess literacy development. Transformative teaching approaches are also recommended to help teachers broaden their understanding of culture. Additionally, recommendations are made regarding mandated cultural training for pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as curriculum reform.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Christopher Greig

Program Reader

Dr. Kara Smith

Degree Name

Master of Education



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year