Multicultural ways of knowing : reading the Kite Runner in a grade 11 class
Study and teaching
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This qualitative study describes responses of twenty-eight students in a Grade 11 language arts class as they read, The Kite Runner (Hosseini, 2004), and responded to activities in the context of a multicultural unit. The study is situated within the conceptual constructs of reader response pedagogy, response to multicultural literature and curriculum planning and implementation of units. The study took place within a four-week period and included multiple data sources. Eight themes emerged from the analysis of data: character analysis; stylistic devices, identifying with self; sociocultural knowledge; sociopolitical awareness; broadening perspectives; role of the teacher and response group process. Students' experiential modes of engagement and response evoked intertextual connections that contributed to an empathized understanding of the lives of the characters embedded in the textual world of The Kite Runner, and in the process, made them aware of their own cuture and traditions. Response group discussions played a role in futhering students' comprehension of sociocutural and sociopolitical issues on personal, textual, and global levels. The organization and resources embedded in the multicultural unit were signifficant tools that provided students with the structure and opportunities for metacognitive growth.