ERIC Number: ED469742
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Using Intercollegiate Response Groups To Help Teacher Education Students Bridge Differences of Race, Class, Ethnicity.
Singer, Judith; Smith, Sally
To provide preservice teachers with opportunities for contact with people from racially and ethnically different backgrounds, one university initiated intercollegiate reader response groups using the WebCT format, which allowed students to converse with one another over distances, both within and across universities. Students from separate universities talked with one another about multicultural children's literature. This paper describes the WebCT conversations that occurred among students who read "From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun" in their reader response groups. The book depicts the relationship of a strong, self-assured black woman, who is homosexual, with her teenaged son. One group of participating students was located on an urban campus. These students were all female and predominantly black. The other group of students was located on a large suburban university. These students were predominantly white and female. In each course, students met to discuss their books during class time over 4 weeks. They also conversed online with their counterparts who were reading the same book on different campuses. Overall, students began conversations about race and sexual orientation, provoked by the novel and by their conversations with one another. They became engaged, and challenged each other to reconsider their stances regarding differences in sexual orientation and race. (Contains 26 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Computer Uses in Education, Consciousness Raising, Cultural Awareness, Diversity (Student), Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Homosexuality, Intercollegiate Cooperation, Multicultural Education, Multicultural Literature, Preservice Teacher Education, Racial Differences, Reader Response, Student Teachers, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).