ERIC Number: ED355550
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Acquiring a Multicultural Perspective through the Use of Collaborative Pairs.
Writing shapes identity, since it explores the core of values and experience that defines the self. The literary canon, once considered sacrosanct, is now being disassembled in response to the many voices that are now recognized to comprise the American experience. Sensitivity to such a multicultural perspective resulted in the design of a sophomore level college survey of American literature that combined group identity with group work. Students from different population groups were paired to examine a common literary text. Ownership was fostered by allowing student choice: choice of partner, group affiliation and text. The project followed a four-part outline: individual response to the text, collaborative critical study, a synthesis done collaboratively, and concluding individual responses to the whole assignment. Initial responses did not always conform to expectations regarding the concerns of each discourse community. Pairs worked together to research the literary work, agreeing on controlling thesis and structure of their survey of the critical opinion. The collaborative synthesis was achieved in a variety of ways by the groups, often highlighting disagreement and thus acknowledging the viability of differing viewpoints. Student reaction ranged from positive to negative feelings toward the collaborative project, demonstrating that the process was not always comfortable for participants. Overall, such projects should aim at fostering an "openness to unassimilated otherness." (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (24th, Charlotte, NC, April 1-3, 1993).