ERIC Number: ED361701
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Issues in the Responses of Students to Culturally Diverse Texts: A Preliminary Study. Report Series 7.3.
Jordan, Sarah; Purves, Alan C.
A preliminary study set the groundwork for exploring the challenges secondary school teachers and students face in reading texts drawn from their own culture and from cultures quite different from their own. Interviews were conducted with 89 secondary school students, and also with university teachers and secondary school teachers of African American or Anglo-European descent (or who taught courses devoted to one or more of these groups) concerning their understanding of the course aims and objectives and of specific texts of one or more of the target cultures (African American, Asian, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, and Anglo-European). Results indicated that (1) students reacted to the story or characters and did not look at the text as a cultural artifact; (2) teachers and students had few problems reading the text as long as they did not raise cultural issues concerning the texts; (3) problems understanding what they read were seen as problems with the writer or with themselves as readers, not as problems in their cultural knowledge; and (4) many teachers believed that students need to like something to be able to comprehend it. Findings suggest that teachers have not yet come to terms with how they can best influence students to see the same cultural concerns that they have, and that unless some attempt is made to give students some factual information about the background culture of texts, then the cycle of one voice, rejection of unknown voices, could continue. (The interview schedule is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY.