viewSuomalaiset. Using Multicultural Literature as a Tool for Multicultural Education in Teacher Education. Juli-Anna . Aerila. Abstract: Multicultural

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Using Multicultural Literature as a Tool for Multicultural Education in Teacher Education

Juli-Anna Aerila

Abstract: Multicultural education has many challenges. In Finland, one of the largest challenges is the fact that the distribution of the immigrant population is imbalanced: almost 90 percent of the immigrants live in metropolitan areas and in other areas of Finland there are little or no immigrants at all. (Aerila & Kokkola, 2013) For this reason, schools and teachers' experiences on immigrant students vary a lot and even the teacher training schools may have difficulties in generating students with experiences on immigrant students. Reading multicultural literature gives the becoming teachers a chance to understand diversity of multicultural issues beyond the monocultural or tourist perspective (Dong, 2005; Norton, 2007; Short, 2007). Fiction is being increasingly used as a component of various university courses. Reading fiction enables us to learn about different situations, circumstances, and people not otherwise familiar to us. In addition while helping students to perhaps be more empathetic, fiction can give them factual information about various things (Boyles, 2006: Lu, 2000; Seeley, 1992). However fiction is used only in a little degree to support teacher students professional growth. This study presents an experiment where student teachers read and discuss multicultural literature in literature circles as part of their studies on multicultural education (Daniels, 2002; Fall, Webb & Chudowsky, 2000). The data of this research consist of 51 personal reading diaries and 15 memos on the literature circles. The research represents qualitative research and the data was analyzed by content analyses (Elo & Kyngs, 2008). In this study the data formed three categories/perspectives on multiculturalism and multicultural literature: the usefulness of multicultural books in education, the relevance of reading multicultural books for personal and professional growth and the assessment of the quality of multicultural books. The preliminary results show that students value reading multicultural literature as a useful tool for the adult readers in empathizing with multicultural themes and learning about immigration and multiculturalism. However, students are skeptical about the possibilities of using multicultural children's literature as part of multicultural education in primary schools. The present study confirms the results of previous researches which indicate that teachers are insecure in using multicultural childrens literature in their teaching (Shioshita, 1997; Lehman, 2011; Louie, 2006). They fear that multicultural childrens literature may be offensive to some of their immigrant students or establish prejudices toward immigrant students.

Keywords: Multicultural Literature, Multicultural Education, Literature Education

Aerila, J.-A. & Kokkola, L. (2013). Multicultural Literature and the Use of Literature in Multicultural Education in Finland. Bookbird Journal 51/2, 3950.

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Elo, S. & Kyngs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107115. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x.

Fall, R., Webb, N. M., & Chudowsky, N. (2000). Group discussion and large-scale language arts assessment: Effects on students' comprehension. American Educational Research Journal, 37(4), 911941.

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Using fiction in teaching mathematics in Finland

Juli-Anna Aerila & Miikka, E. Wikholm

Abstract: Several studies have shown that boys and girls differences in reading are the result of different attitudes towards reading. Literacy development is strongly linked to how committed and motivated the students are in reading. (Merisuo-Storm & Soininen, 2010; 2012; 2013) Finland has prooved to be successful in many areas of literacy in variety of international studies (e. g. PISA). However, the motivation to read in Finland is clearly under the international average. Especially negatively Finnish students are committed to the reading in schools. (Merisuo-Storm & Soininen, 2013) Therefore, it is important that students, especially boys, commitment to read is strengthened with different new approaches and the use of literature in schools is constantly developed further (Brozo, 2002; Grossman, 2001; molloy, 2007). This study focuses on finding out how and to what amount fiction is being used in math lessons in primary schools in Finland. The aim of this proposed study is thus to ascertain the extent to which the integration of childrens literature in primary mathematics lessons benefits children in terms of the attractiveness of reading and fiction especially for boys in Finland as well as their confidence level in and attitudinal change, if any, towards these subjects (e.g. mathematics and literature Billings & Beckmann, 2005; Caparo & Caparo, 2006). The study presented here is a part of an international study Teachers beliefs on the integration of childrens literature in primary mathematics and learning: A comparative study, which aims to find out 1) what are the beliefs concerning the integration of childrens literature in primary mathematics teaching and learning as espoused by teachers of different personal and professional characteristics in England; Hong Kong, Australia and Finland and 2) what extent does the integration of childrens literature in primary mathematics teaching and learning benefit children. The data was collected from teacher students and primary school teachers in Rauma district with a questionnaire. The preliminary results show that fiction is used in math education frequently in primary schools with children aged 7 10 years. The main purpose of using fiction is to motivate and concretize the learning. One of the reasons that fiction is seldom used with older students in math is the lack of suitable material in Finland.

Keywords: motivation to read, literature education, childrens literature, mathematics


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Capraro, R. M., & Capraro, M. M. (2006). Are you really going to read us a story? Learning geometry through childrens mathematics literature. Reading Psychology, 27, 21-36.

Grossman, P. (2001). Research on the teaching of literature: Finding a place. In V. Richardson (eds.): Handbook of research on teaching. 4. painos. Washington D.C.: American Educational Research Association, 416 432.

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Merisuo-Storm, T. & Soininen, M. (2012). Constructing a research-based program to improve primary school students reading comprehension skills. IJCDSE, International Journal for Cross-Displinary Subjects in Education 3 (3), 755762.

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Book trailers as reading motivators

Satu E. M. Grnthal & Johanna Pentikinen

Abstract: Our paper focuses on literature pedagogy, and especially on new ways to support reading motivation. Today, many teachers and educators feel that motivating pupils


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