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Publication

Utilizing students' lived experiences to enhance the literary classroom: One teacher's look at the use of canonical and multicultural literature in the college classroom

Kerr-Ging, DeLisa Kay
Abstract
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of this study was to examine what types of literature engage students' interests. Participants in the study were 26 students at a Midwestern community college. All students in an Introduction to Literature course were eligible to participate. Each student completed journal entries and two surveys for this study. The data were collected to answer if students related their lived experiences to the literary themes found in canonical and multicultural literature.
Findings and Conclusions: The data revealed that students related their lived experiences to the literary themes found in the works, not the canonical or multicultural labels given to the works by literary scholars. The canonical or multicultural label did not help students identify with the literature. Instead, students identified with the literary themes found in the literature, and they forged connections with the literature, whether canonical or multicultural, based on their lived experience.
Date
2005-07