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Title Exploring Intercultural Understanding through Global Children's Literature and Educator Study Groups
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Arizona
Abstract Engagement with global children's literature is an effective way to introduce multiple perspectives into the classroom dialogue. Yet teachers are often unfamiliar with ways of helping students understand diverse cultural practices and beliefs. The result is that global children's literature continues to be an underused resource. This action research study looked at 25 highly diverse educator study groups as they used global literature with pre-K - 12 students. The goal was to support the development of intercultural understanding. The study groups received $1,000 grants from Worlds of Words (wowlit.org) to fund their yearlong inquiry. The groups met face-to-face throughout the year to reflect on the interactions taking place in their classrooms. All groups met online on a members-only site. Data collected included proposals, reports, teacher vignettes, and interviews. The data was used to document range of study group structures and interactions with global literature. The study groups and online forum were supported by a grant from the Longview Foundation. Through constant comparative analysis, new transformative understandings were identified. Key elements in the development of intercultural understanding included open inquiry, recognition of complexity and multiple perspectives, thinking about culture at a conceptual level, and engaging in open dialogue. Teachers reported an increased understanding of their competence as professionals, their student's competence as problem-posers and thinkers, and the parents' competence as important contributors to intercultural understanding. The study concludes with implications for practitioners wanting to engage in classroom inquiries using global literature to support developing intercultural understanding. A second set of implications suggests ways in which the study group process can be made more effective. New questions are proposed for future research related to the use of global literature in various contexts, including classrooms, online professional development, and libraries.
Subjects/Keywords classroom dialogue; educator study groups; global literature; inquiry based learning; intercultural understanding; Language, Reading & Culture; children's literature
Contributors Short, Kathy G (advisor); Short, Kathy G. (committeemember); Gonzalez, Norma (committeemember); Sheilah, Nicholas E. (committeemember); Waugh, Linda R. (committeemember)
Language en
Rights Copyright © 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.
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:10150/333016
Repository arizona-diss
Date Indexed 2018-11-26
Issued Date 2014-01-01 00:00:00

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