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On-Line Multicultural Literature Discussions: How This Discourse Community Informs Teacher Educators

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


This study investigated the effects of computer-based technologies on literature discussions between preservice teachers and eighth graders. Most participating preservice teachers were preparing to work with students in literacy development. Over two semesters, eighth graders were paired with college students taking a young adults literature course. The pairs read and discussed multicultural short stories for teens, poetry, essays on multiculturalism, and novels. Electronic mail helped foster relationships between pairs. An electronic bulletin board allowed all participants to interact asynchronously with the entire group around various topics. Small groups met in virtual environments (MOOs) to conduct online literature circles. Data sources included surveys on technology needs; e-mail correspondence; process logs; interview transcripts from student focus groups; researchers' planning notes and logs; and teacher and student analyses of the MOOs. Results indicated that MOOs provided space for fuller participation by more people. Eighth graders appreciated being able to speak more freely and anonymously than they could in class. University students appreciated opportunities to discuss literature with adolescents. Both groups were surprised at the number of in-depth issues they discussed. Complaints about the MOOs included the anonymity factor (for some students), eye strain, and insufficient typing skills. (Contains 15 references.) (SM)


Carico, K.M. (2000). On-Line Multicultural Literature Discussions: How This Discourse Community Informs Teacher Educators. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2000. Retrieved July 22, 2019 from .

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