Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Cristian Solorza


A fourth grade social studies curriculum and corresponding rationale are presented on the topic of Dominican historical figure Juan Rodriguez, his appearance in the Hudson harbor in 1613, and his legacy as captured by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute in upper Manhattan. Curricularized racism in education and the responsibility of teachers to correct entrenched curricularized racism is addressed in undertaking the writing of an original curriculum centered on the known scholarship of Juan Rodriguez. As a relatively unknown historical actor and a free man of color from colonial La Española (modern-day Dominican Republic), his story is leveraged to help Dominican and Latinx youth learn about colonial economics, Juan Rodriguez’s migration to the New York area, and their own family histories of migration to and from the Dominican Republic and New York. The challenges of producing original social studies curricula that attempt to incorporate ideals of social justice and center the lives and experiences of multilingual and multicultural youth are explored using the framework of culturally sustaining pedagogies. Suggestions are offered for other novice teachers seeking to engage in culturally sustaining teaching that both meets the demands of district-mandated curriculum scope and sequence and resists traditional white-hegemonic narratives that usually dominate social studies content in public education.


Dual Language/ Bilingual Childhood General and Special Education