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ERIC Number: EJ1280760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Reading an Other People's Story: American Teacher Candidates Interpreting a Children's Story from Japan
Amos, Yukari Takimoto; Nelson, Tiffany Nicole
Multicultural Education, v27 n2 p40-47 Win 2020
It has become increasingly apparent that incorporating international stories into the classroom is beneficial for young students. The stories provide vicarious experiences from different countries that help nurture a more tolerant and accepting generation of students. Through reading these stories students gain empathy and understanding for other cultures. To materialize the assumed benefits of using international literature in classrooms, it is essential that teacher candidates develop skills to appropriately interpret stories that originate from countries in which the populations speak different languages, believe in different religions, and hold different values. Otherwise, they will miss the opportunity to engage young minds in the discourse of diversity (Nieto & Bode, 2012; Tschida, Ryan, & Ticknor, 2014). In the current analysis, the authors reenact a scene where the second author, Tiffany (White female), carefully guided the teacher candidates in critical discussions of "Gon, the Little Fox," a well-known children's story in Japan, as part of a multicultural/international literature course. The teacher candidates cognitively understood that there are cultural differences between the U.S. and Japan with regard to the use of death in children's literature. However, at first they were not able to accept them. Acknowledging differences does not necessarily guarantee acceptance of such differences. Fundamentally, the teacher candidates, at least initially, failed to suppress their own egoistic perspectives and entertain those of others. As long as the teacher candidates were resistant to accepting this particular cultural difference in "Gon, the Little Fox," it was obvious that they would be unable to interpret the story from a different perspective. Essentially, it was the open and guided dialogue that intentionally led the teacher candidates to use perspective taking, particularly the "imagine other" perspective, that transformed their resistance into acceptance.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan