Increasing Multicultural Awareness through Correspondence: A University-School Partnership Project
American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,
This paper describes an e-mail-based correspondence project between 56 pairs of university-school partners: pre-service teachers enrolled in a multicultural education course, and middle school students enrolled in language arts classes in a culturally diverse, economically depressed community. The purpose of the critical action research project was to offer the pre-service teachers an opportunity to interact with students of diverse cultural backgrounds and to offer the middle school students an interesting way to engage in literacy development. Partners corresponded with each other for 10 weeks. Data examined includes letters written during the 10-week period, end-of-semester pre-service teacher project reports, weekly instructor field notes, faculty/pre-service student dialogue journals, and a questionnaire completed by middle school students at the conclusion of the project. Positive outcomes were seen in both student populations, including a broadening of multicultural awareness and improvements in skills development. The paper also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of technologically mediated communication. One disadvantage noted was the difficulty students had in interacting with someone they had not met; it was suggested that correspondents should be allowed to meet at the beginning of the correspondence. (Contains 38 references.) (CH)
Schoorman, D. & Camarillo, B. (2000). Increasing Multicultural Awareness through Correspondence: A University-School Partnership Project. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2000.
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