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Why should I read this? The Reasons and Pedagogical Tools for a Multiethnic Literature Classroom
Deka, Mayuri

2008, PHD, Kent State University, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of English.

The purpose of this project is to formulate a pedagogy for the multiethnic literature classroom that enhances students’ prosocial behavior by supporting their identity development and security and by increasing their capacity for empathy. Research shows that people are more willing to help another if they are secure in their sense of Self and can empathize with the Other. Prosocial pedagogy provides pedagogical strategies to facilitate the development of complex identity-contents in the students make them more open to identify commonalities between the Self and Other based on universal affective states and life-conditions and take practical steps to alleviate the Other’s suffering and engage in social change.


Prosocial pedagogy also proposes that a secure, empathic identity is able to bring certain prosocial changes to the basic cognitive processes (perception, judgment, and motivation) to lead habitually toward prosocial action. By expanding the students’ core identity-contents to include diverse information and people, this pedagogy reduces the prejudices and biases of the Self and results in social change. The aim of this project is, thus, to describe the processes underlying the sustenance and development of a secure identity and the arousal of empathy and their contribution to social change through the reading of multiethnic literature.


A project like this is especially pertinent today when people are increasingly inhabiting a world that is coming to resemble a diaspora. The students are constantly being introduced to new information, knowledges, and people. People are reacting with panic and resorting to prejudice and bias toward the Other to re-establish their sense of Self. This pedagogy provides a strategy for people to interact effectively with a diverse group of Others and engage in social action while maintaining a secure sense of Self. By encouraging the students to develop complex identity-components that enable them to see similarities with the Other, prosocial pedagogy thus promotes greater understanding between people and the desire to engage in prosocial thinking and action.


Mark Bracher, PhD (Committee Chair)
Raymond Craig, PhD (Committee Member)
Martha Cutter, PhD (Committee Member)
Masood Raja, PhD (Committee Member)
David Odell-Scott, PhD (Committee Member)
Anne Heiss, PhD (Committee Member)
266 p.

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Deka, M. (2008). Why should I read this? The Reasons and Pedagogical Tools for a Multiethnic Literature Classroom. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Deka, Mayuri. "Why should I read this? The Reasons and Pedagogical Tools for a Multiethnic Literature Classroom." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Kent State University, 2008. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 21 Apr 2015.

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Deka, Mayuri "Why should I read this? The Reasons and Pedagogical Tools for a Multiethnic Literature Classroom." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Kent State University, 2008. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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