Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Ellen Ferrin

Second Advisor

Abigail Kerlin


The act of naming, or using and respecting one’s name, is a humanizing act: it is foundational to one’s sense of identity and belonging. Conversely, the act of ‘de-naming,’ or changing, forgetting, or erasing one’s name, is an act of dehumanization: it denies one’s sense of identity and belonging. The Name Curriculum provides an opportunity for third grade students to explore the role of names and naming as they relate to one’s sense of self and community. It draws on the role of developmental psychology, the urgency of historical context, and the power of children’s literature. Specifically, it explores how language development informs a connection between one’s name and sense of self, how patterns within and across historical events exemplify connections between naming and oppression, and how children’s literature can provide accessible entry points for meaningful conversations about naming, identity, and belonging. Over the course of the year, students consider questions related to names, identity, oppression, power, and belonging. Ultimately, the curriculum highlights the power of names to combat oppression with abolition.


Cross-Age: Early Childhood and Childhood General Education