Preservice Teachers Encountering the “Other” in Canadian Multicultural Picture Books

By Ingrid Johnston and Joyce Bainbridge.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this cross-Canada study, researchers conducted workshops with preservice teachers using a selection of 68 Canadian multicultural picture books. Through a survey and in-depth interviews, they collected data about preservice teachers' responses to the books. A primary goal of this study was to explore the preservice teachers' responses to questions of identity and difference represented in these Canadian picture books. While participants (mostly of white European background) were generally quick to support liberal humanist notions of diversity and tolerance some resistances emerged when their own identities seemed challenged. The findings of the study lead us to question how we can help beginning teachers to interrupt dominant notions of whiteness and challenge their own sense of self as they relate to the culturally diverse students in their own classrooms.

Keywords: Multicultural Canadian Picture Books, Canadian Identity, Representing the “Other” in Literary Texts, Teacher Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp.81-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 487.769KB).

Dr. Ingrid Johnston

Professor and Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ingrid Johnston is a professor in the Department of Secondary Education and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. Her research and teaching interests focus on postcolonial literary theories and pedagogies, English education, adolescent literature and questions of cultural difference and teacher education. Her book Re-mapping Literary Worlds: Postcolonial Pedagogy in Practice (Peter Lang, 2003) was recently published in Chinese translation with Education Science Publishing House in Beijing.

Dr. Joyce Bainbridge

University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada

Joyce Bainbridge is a professor in Elementary Education and Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. She has researched and published widely in language and literacy education, children's literature, and teacher education for literacy.

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