Teacher education that is multicultural: Expanding preservice teachers' orientation toward learning through children's literature.
AuthorKlassen, Charlene Ruth.
Committee ChairShort, Kathy
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis inquiry into teacher education explores the potential for using multicultural children's literature to broaden preservice teachers' orientation toward the value of multiculturalism. The setting for this collaborative exploration was a College of Education course on Children's Literature during the 1992 spring semester. Literacy experiences with multicultural literature were created to provide preservice teachers with an opportunity to critically reflect on their awareness and understanding of multiculturalism. Weekly small group literature discussions, roving dialogue journals among three students and the university teacher, and end-of-semester interviews with each student were the primary sources of data collected during the semester. Findings from the analysis of data indicate the need for multicultural children's literature that accurately and authentically presents unique, diverse, and universal characteristics of a specific culture. Of equal importance to the selection of multicultural literature is the multicultural experience with these books which creates a critical consciousness among children and teachers. Evidence of the generative nature of dialogic experiences was seen where a multiplicity of voices pushed preservice teachers' awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of multiculturalism. As students reflected on their perspectives on culture that extended far beyond ethnic or racial perspectives, understanding of their own and other cultures was broadened. The results of this inquiry indicate the need for teacher education that is multicultural. A teacher's critical consciousness of the value of multiculturalism can transform her/his work with children in classrooms. Teacher themselves need opportunities to expand their orientation toward learning and living in a pluralistic society in order to foster critical students/citizens who actively participate in the nation's democracy.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading, and Culture