ERIC Number: ED455207
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Text and Context: Using Multicultural Literature To Help Teacher Education Students Develop Understanding of Self and World.
Singer, Judith; Smith, Sally
This study compares the responses of black and white preservice teachers as they engaged about a young adult novel which addressed racial and sexual diversity. Student teachers used young adult literature with protagonists from diverse backgrounds as one means of coming to understand and value children of all backgrounds. Small groups met to discuss one book which was written by a black author, depicting the close relationship between a strong, self-assured black woman and her teenaged son. The book also addresses issues of homosexuality and interracial relationships. Data collection involved student reading journals and researcher observations of group discussions. Two themes emerged: finding oneself in a text (moving from margins to center) and becoming the other (moving from center to margins). Within these two themes, there were several categories: recognition of the author's purpose or values, response to being black in a white world, and response to being gay in a heterosexual world. The black teacher education students found themselves in their reading of the book, finding space to reflect on who they were and to release their own stories. The white teacher education students reflected that in their reading of the book they felt they needed to find a way in, but they generally remained looking in from outside. (Contains 26 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Black Students, Childrens Literature, Consciousness Raising, Cultural Relevance, Diversity (Student), Elementary Secondary Education, Group Discussion, Higher Education, Homosexuality, Multicultural Education, One Parent Family, Preservice Teacher Education, Racial Attitudes, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).