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ERIC Number: EJ1078682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Villain or Hero: Student Interpretations of African Trickster Tales
Hawkins, Jeffrey M.; Agnello, Mary Frances; Lucey, Thomas A.
Multicultural Education, v22 n3-4 p20-26 Spr-Sum 2015
This collaborative action research study describes the results of how pre-service teachers at three institutions of higher learning construed three pre-colonial West African folktales that portrayed the villain or trickster in a heroic manner. Folktales represent common forms of literature that are used in the classroom as conscience stories to communicate behavioral expectations to youngsters. Data were collected from a convenience sample of teacher-education students at three institutions: one institution was a large Midwestern public university; the second was a large public institution on the South Plains; and the third was a large public institution in the rural Southwest. Three undergraduate social studies methods (two elementary and one middle level) courses were surveyed at the Midwestern institution, three undergraduate social studies methods (two elementary and one secondary level) at the institution on the South Plains, and two foundations classes were surveyed as the institution in the rural Southwest. The data were compiled and sent to the primary investigator for coding and tabulation of research questions. A minority of the responding students from the three institutions had similar interpretations of the moral/morals of the assigned story. Students commonly viewed the stories as warning readers about the consequences of deceptiveness and the virtues of adhering to a universal code of conduct. Such interpretations convey a philosophy common to the dominant culture and a belief in consequences for challenging the status quo.
Descriptors: Multicultural Education, Preservice Teachers, Undergraduate Students, Social Studies, Action Research, African Culture, Folk Culture, Methods Courses, Power Structure, Foundations of Education, Student Teacher Attitudes, Discourse Analysis, Educational Benefits, Questionnaires, Moral Issues, Readability, Interpretive Skills, Knowledge Level
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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