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ERIC Number: EJ1223452
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Science Fiction Literature in the Classroom: A Final Frontier for Multicultural Education?
Hollar, James L.
Multicultural Education, v26 n2 p2-6 Win 2019
In this article, the author recounts his mission: a voyage into the "strange" world of American high school, specifically the science fiction elective classroom. His mission is one of curricular intervention to transform how students, particularly those of color, envision their own futuristic missions. The study strives to serve the too often miseducated and undereducated students of color, particularly adolescent African American and Latino/a students. Science fiction is nothing if not a place for the imagination. But what teachers see too often in these courses is a narrowing of the imagination based on what many deem as canonical in terms of authors and themes. This article presents an effort to help convince teachers that such continued lack of imaginative vision merely repeats the mistakes of exclusion that have been made in countless classrooms, textbooks, and curricula. Teachers must question where this way of understanding the relationship between the present and the future comes from. Two central questions guide the author's project: (1) How is the future constructed in science fiction curricula and classrooms, and how does this representation exclude students of color as well as discussions surrounding race and racism? and (2) To what extent can a "multiculturalized" speculative fiction course interrogate the structuring of both the race-erased classroom and the future it constructs by enabling the agency of students of color to envision their own futures within these spaces? To investigate these notions of how students of color are encouraged (and discouraged) to think about their future, this study takes place in two science fiction classes during the spring semester of 2012 at a high school located in a medium-sized city in Wisconsin. The study's findings prove to be emblematic of how science fiction is allowed to remain so segregated in terms of gender and race. Stated simply, certain students are expected in such classrooms and certain "others" are not. These expectations are expressed by both teachers and students and are then reflected in classroom discussions and materials.
Descriptors: Science Fiction, Literature, Adolescents, African American Students, Hispanic American Students, High School Teachers, High School Students, Minority Group Students, Multicultural Education, Elective Courses, Correlation, Imagination, Race, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Secondary School Curriculum, Futures (of Society)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin