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Dangerous Discourses [microform] : The Politics of Multicultural Literature in Community and Classroom. Report Series 7.4 / Ellen Bigler and James Collins
Bib ID 5582976
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Author
Bigler, Ellen
 
Online Versions
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1995 
37 p. 
Summary

An in-depth ethnographic study of an upstate New York Middle School in an ethnically polarized community investigated teacher and community response to multicultural literature initiatives. Most of the data for the study came from interviews with and observations of teachers in the school; it was collected mostly over the 1991-92 school year when members of the community were engaged in a conflict between a growing Hispanic population and the town's Euro-American senior citizen population over adapting school practices to meet the needs of the minority youth. In addition to the teachers, 23 minority students were interviewed in depth, as well as a range of parents and politically active community members. Follow-up interviews were conducted in the 1992-93 school year. Results show the importance of recognizing the teacher as the key link in the process of broadening school curriculums through multicultural materials. While teachers used multicultural texts, they drew upon their own experiences and popular understandings in ways that silenced particular discourses--for example, through omission of particular types of selections, avoidance of classroom discussion, or subtle reinforcement of societal biases. These practice were not intended to be harmful to any particular group; most of the teachers were very interested in acting in the best interest of their students. Reasons for this shortcoming could be attributed to the fact that most teachers received their degrees before multiculturalism became an agenda at universities. Also, working conditions can prevent teachers from working through new ideas. Essentially isolated behind closed doors, they do not observe each other teach and do not continue their education usually beyond the courses required for a master's degree. (Contains 70 references.) (TB)

Notes

Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.

Contract Number: R117G10015.

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18: https://eric.ed.gov/

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Cultural Differences.  |  Ethnic Bias.  |  Ethnography.  |  Intermediate Grades.  |  Junior High Schools.  |  Middle Schools.  |  Multicultural Education.  |  Preservice Teacher Education.  |  School Community Relationship.  |  School Culture.  |  Teacher Attitudes.  |  Teaching Conditions.  |  Multicultural Materials  |  New York (Upstate)
Form/genre Reports, Research.  |  Reports, Descriptive.
Other authors/contributors Collins, James, author  |  National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY
Available From ERIC 
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035 |9(ericd)ED382948
037 |aED382948|bERIC
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100 1 |aBigler, Ellen.
245 1 0 |aDangerous Discourses|h[microform] :|bThe Politics of Multicultural Literature in Community and Classroom. Report Series 7.4 /|cEllen Bigler and James Collins.
260 |a[Washington, D.C.] :|bDistributed by ERIC Clearinghouse,|c1995.
300 |a37 p.
500 |aSponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.|5ericd
500 |aContract Number: R117G10015.|5ericd
520 |aAn in-depth ethnographic study of an upstate New York Middle School in an ethnically polarized community investigated teacher and community response to multicultural literature initiatives. Most of the data for the study came from interviews with and observations of teachers in the school; it was collected mostly over the 1991-92 school year when members of the community were engaged in a conflict between a growing Hispanic population and the town's Euro-American senior citizen population over adapting school practices to meet the needs of the minority youth. In addition to the teachers, 23 minority students were interviewed in depth, as well as a range of parents and politically active community members. Follow-up interviews were conducted in the 1992-93 school year. Results show the importance of recognizing the teacher as the key link in the process of broadening school curriculums through multicultural materials. While teachers used multicultural texts, they drew upon their own experiences and popular understandings in ways that silenced particular discourses--for example, through omission of particular types of selections, avoidance of classroom discussion, or subtle reinforcement of societal biases. These practice were not intended to be harmful to any particular group; most of the teachers were very interested in acting in the best interest of their students. Reasons for this shortcoming could be attributed to the fact that most teachers received their degrees before multiculturalism became an agenda at universities. Also, working conditions can prevent teachers from working through new ideas. Essentially isolated behind closed doors, they do not observe each other teach and do not continue their education usually beyond the courses required for a master's degree. (Contains 70 references.) (TB)
530 |aMay also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:|uhttps://eric.ed.gov/
533 |aMicrofiche.|b[Washington D.C.]:|cERIC Clearinghouse|emicrofiches : positive.
650 0 7 |aCultural Differences.|2ericd
650 1 7 |aEthnic Bias.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aEthnography.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aIntermediate Grades.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aJunior High Schools.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aMiddle Schools.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aMulticultural Education.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aPreservice Teacher Education.|2ericd
650 1 7 |aSchool Community Relationship.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aSchool Culture.|2ericd
650 1 7 |aTeacher Attitudes.|2ericd
650 0 7 |aTeaching Conditions.|2ericd
653 1 |aMulticultural Materials
653 0 |aNew York (Upstate)
655 7 |aReports, Research.|2ericd
655 7 |aReports, Descriptive.|2ericd
700 1 |aCollins, James,|eauthor.
710 2 |aNational Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY.
856 4 1 |uhttps://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED382948
984 |aANL|cmc 2253 ED382948|d77000000388518
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