Co-constructions of meaning through dialogue
Hermann-Wilmarth, Jill Marie
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Building on work with preservice teachers around issues of multiculturalism and critical inquiry pedagogy, this qualitative collaboration action research study highlights how the stated religious beliefs of the students in my class intersected with issues of homosexuality and heterosexism raised in course readings and discussions. Through participation in discussions and interviews with an inquiry group formed around the question, “How do culturally held beliefs affect the teaching of language arts to diverse students?” and made up of students in my children’s literature and language arts methods classes, I describe and analyze ways that my students and I interact and use language around issues of homosexuality and religion. I also explore ways in which my students and inquiry group members create spaces where we feel comfortable in our discussions of these issues, or where silence and resistance mediate our dialogue. A key component of this study is the role of collaborative research among the undergraduate preservice student members of the inquiry group and myself as their teacher, and the dialogue that drove this collaboration.