Secondary students' language in response to a Cultural Identity course
AuthorFarhat, Nancy J.
AdvisorGoodman, Yetta M.
MetadataShow full item record
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 study was undertaken as a means of describing the language of high school students as they responded to a Cultural Identity course. The purpose of this course was to increase cultural sensitivity and understanding among high school freshmen, and therefore, to reduce violence and cultural misunderstandings on campus. This course made use of the published curriculum, Building Cultural Bridges, in part, and the remaining course design was developed by the teacher-researcher. Specific aspects of the problem studied are included in the following questions that guided the methodology: (1) In what ways are students' attitudes reflected in their written language in response to specific assignments in the course, Cultural Identity? (2) In what ways are perceptions of conflict and conflict resolution reflected in students' written language? (3) In what ways does students' written language indicate an awareness of cultural sensitivity? (4) What language is used in students' oral language during classroom interactions that indicates an awareness of cultural sensitivity? These questions were answered while taking into consideration: (a) the context of the classroom activities, and (b) the social context that students carried with them into the classroom which, therefore, became a presence in the classroom. This study involved a theoretical and pragmatic view of teaching multicultural, anti-racist, and conflict resolution curricula. After a review of the literature and the establishment of the problem, a descriptive design was employed for guiding data collection and analysis. Participants' written language was analyzed which included: (a) students' journal writing in response to teacher prompts, (b) student-generated multicultural conflict and resolution plays, (c) conflict resolution questionnaires, and (d) student-generated informational brochures on relevant topics. Participants' oral language was also analyzed and recorded in field notes. This was taken from conversation and behavior demonstrated by participants during classroom activities. Participants' written language in the prompted response journals indicated a developing awareness of cultural sensitivity. The written language in the multicultural conflict and resolution plays indicated a developing sense of cultural sensitivity and the usefulness of conflict resolution strategies. Written language found in the conflict resolution questionnaires over time indicated an increased awareness of the usefulness of conflict resolution strategies and indicated their understanding of how conflicts are resolved, rather than avoided. The informational brochures demonstrated students' awareness of the effects of stereotyping, shifts in their stereotypical behavior, and demonstrated their use of conflict resolution strategies in classroom interactions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture