Understanding Unfamiliar Literary Aesthetics: White Preservice Teachers Examine Race Through Story

Feb. 15, 2015

Source: Action in Teacher Education, Volume 37, Issue 1, 2015, pages 23-44

This study addresses the struggles White preservice English teachers’ experience in making sense of unfamiliar ethnicities in narrative forms and how this frustration might be mediated.
The article collected data through explicit attention to and study of the aesthetic elements of ethnically unfamiliar texts.

Findings reveal a keen interest in understanding and engaging with multicultural literature among participants coupled with a persistent hesitation to include it and related conversations of race in their instruction.
Participants opened themselves to learning more about others but struggled to implicate themselves in the transfer of new knowledge to teaching practice.

The study’s findings contribute to the conversations of scholars in teacher education, multicultural studies, and young adult literature by offering an approach to teaching multicultural literature to preservice teachers that encourages complex, racially informed responses to ethnically unfamiliar texts and revealing potential tensions that may emerge in the process.

Updated: Jun. 14, 2015