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ERIC Number: ED346471
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Rereading Multicultural Readers: What Definition of Multicultural Are We Buying?
Shapiro, Nancy
A flood of new multicultural readers and textbooks are hitting the market for writing and literature courses at the college level. Yet there has been no systematic examination of how these readers are being used, the purposes and audiences for which they are written, or the critical reception they have received. Multicultural readers distinguish themselves in several ways: they encompass broad ethnic and cultural sources, and they often include maps which display geographical coverage. Some texts rely heavily on a western anthropological viewpoint. Gender has become an important consideration, insuring that a significant percentage of writing by women is represented. Also, they are structured according to different voices, rather than a more traditional emphasis on thematic concerns. These textbooks influence the teaching of composition profoundly, since most writing instructors depend heavily on their texts. Multicultural textbooks tend to have underlying theories of pedagogy which feature: (1) a celebration of self-reflection; (2) a pedagogy that is relativistic; (3) an emphasis on "active reading techniques"; and (4) a stress on collaborative learning. An emphasis in the readings is on narrative, which is easily accessible and highly personal. Finally, teachers should consider to what extent their efforts to recognize and teach diversity will ultimately result in empowering their students. Cultural diversity, after all, is not the only, or even a primary goal of a writing class. (A chart giving numerical data from a survey of the contents of eight multicultural readers for freshman composition is attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A