Preparing preservice teachers to teach multicultural literature

Arlette Ingram Willis, Violet J. Har

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Several years ago during a final field experience a prospective teacher wrote:This statement was made by one of our “top” students. A student who had excelled during her academic undergraduate education and one who received an uncontested “high rating” as a prospective teacher educator from her supervisors and cooperating teachers. The student is not a “bad” person. However, her journal entry reacquaints us with the notion that understandings of race, culture, and ethnicity are ever present in our consciousness. Until recently, it has been considered “polite not to notice” incidents of racism in education (hooks and West, 1991). As bell hooks (1992) has observed in similar instances, “For my colleagues, racism expressed in everyday encounters…is only an unpleasantness to be avoided, not something to be confronted or challenged. It is just something negative disrupting the good time, better not to notice and pretend it’s not there” (p. 61). However, racism is here as an ugly unfortunate part of life in American society. Racist acts, unintentionally committed by well-intended folk, are a part of the lived reality, in and out of school, for culturally and linguistically diverse children. How can we better educate preservice teachers to understand the relationship among language, culture, and literacy as they prepare to teach all of our children?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts
EditorsJames Flood, Diane Lapp, Shirley Brice Heath
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781135603700
ISBN (Print)9780805853797
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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