NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED512073
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 206
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 93
Teaching Literature in the Multicultural Classroom
Locke, Terry; Cawkwell, Gail; Sila'ila'i, Emilie
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative
This Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLRI) research project explored ways of teaching literature effectively in multicultural and multilingual classrooms. It involved primary and secondary school teacher-researchers working in partnership with university-based researchers over two years on a series of case studies, within an action research framework. The case studies involved classroom-based interventions carried out by individual teachers and developed collaboratively with the larger project group. Teachers in this project have shown the need to move beyond the critique of the cultural heritage model of English that views it as canonising the utterances of dead, white males and recognise that all cultures have literary heritages (including oral ones) and that these have an important role in the way people identify. Moreover, regardless of what happens in schools, literature and poetry are still thriving in the real world and teachers need to ensure that students have opportunities to connect with this world, as Korina Jocson and others have done in the United States' context (see Jocson, 2006). Finally, stakeholders need to continue to scrutinise their assessment and pedagogical practices to ensure that they do not privilege practices that naively assume that drilling students in a knowledge of parts will lead to a deep understanding of the whole, as has happened in the National Literacy Strategy in England. It is important that they do not put summative and diagnostic assessment practices into the driving seat in such a way that literary engagement is constructed in ways that are fatuous, dubious and destructive of enjoyment. Appendices include: (1) Teaching literature in the multicultural classroom; (2) Teaching literature in the multicultural classroom; (3) Questions for reflection; (4) Critical literacy pretest; (5) White comedy; (6) "Donna": In search for a prince; and (7) "The Kite Runner" (Chapter X). (Contains 13 tables, 16 figures and 27 footnotes.) [This paper was written with Alison Cleary, Willem de Beer, Sandy Harris, Elizabeth Lumby, David Riley, Janet Sturgess, and Julie-Ann Thumath.]
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Available from: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. P.O. Box 3237, Wellington 6140 New Zealand. Tel: +64-4384-7939; Fax: +64-4384-7933; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (New Zealand)
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand