ERIC Number: ED402600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Making the Paths: Constructing Multicultural Texts and Critical-Narrative Discourse in Literature-History Classes. Report Series 7.8.
Miller, Suzanne M.
Developing students' ability to use multicultural perspectives and knowledge to think about literature, history, and society is emerging as an important part of a pluralistic approach to education. Am ethnographic study examined three innovative eleventh-grade literature-history classes as they were negotiated over 2 school years by a pair of English and social studies teachers with pluralistic goals for curriculum and pedagogy. Reading texts from different cultural perspectives, engaging in open-forum discussion and writing, and participating in other dialectical activities fostered student awareness of the multiple, sometimes conflicting languages for understanding texts and social issues. Teachers provided assistance at points of need, sometimes in the form of posing problems, juxtaposing texts/perspectives (e.g. stories, reports, personal experiences), and initiating multivocal activities, often in the form of conversational strategies for moving from unreflective speech to conscious reflection about personal and others' assumptions and values. In this class, critical thinking and narrative thinking came to develop in a dialogic relationship, what can be seen as a critical-narrative discourse acquired and learned through dialectical talk and activity. These dialogic means of moving beyond sociocentrism toward reflection influenced individual students differently, depending on numerous personal and sociocultural forces shaping the nature of their active response or resistance. Findings contribute to a theoretical framework for understanding how interdisciplinary study of multicultural texts in problem-posing contexts contributes to specific forms of critically reflective literacy practice. (Contains 115 references and 4 tables of data.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.