“Is it possible to halal slaughter a pig?” - Negotiating Cultures and Identities while Reading Multicultural Literature in Danish Public Schools

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review

Abstract

In this article, I discuss how teachers teaching Danish literature in public schools can include culturally underrepresented and silenced minorities in their literature mediation as a means for combatting negative stereotypes and racial prejudice. Based on ethnographic data from an 8th grade classroom intervention presenting the students and teachers in three different schools with the multicultural novel Haram (Aamand, 2016), I share discourse and positioning analyses (Davies & Harré, 1990; Gee, 1999) of classroom dialogues evolving from the reading of multicultural literature. Pedagogically, multicultural literature has been defined as an instrument to include and give voice to historically silenced and invisibilised minorities in the school curriculum (Cai & Bishop, 1994; Cai, 2002). From a literary perspective, multicultural literature can be understood as a set of literary characteristics that explicitly reflect minorities, cross-cultural meetings, discrimination, and identity negotiations in an increasingly diverse society regardless of the author’s skin color or cultural background (Mansour, 2020). In this sense, multicultural literature brings social, cultural, and political issues into the classroom and provides a space in which students and teachers may encounter various life perspectives and literary representations. Accordingly, this article discusses how students and teachers talk about race, culture, and power relations when they read multicultural literature. In conclusion, I support the argument that teaching Danish Literature in Danish public schools holds a central position in denying or creating access to cultural stories and representations (Holmen, 2011), in which minority students see – or not - their own lives valued or experience – or not - their own position reflected in a wider perspective. Furthermore, I recommend a culturally responsive teaching (Gay, 2010) where teachers talk about discrimination, power relations and diversity in their classes (Mansour, 2020).
OriginalsprogDansk
Publikationsdato2020
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - 2020

Emneord

  • Læring, pædagogik og undervisning

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