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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Some Interesting Articles on Critical Literacy

These two articles offer up different methods for approaching critical literacy.

The first article, by Jackie Marsh, emphasises the need for popular culture that students are interested in to be brought into the classroom. Marsh uses the now outdated Pokemon phenomenon as an example, but there have been times when I've used examples from recent kids' movies and TV shows for a particular reason. I agree with Marsh's view that we should use popular culture within our lessons as a way of engaging students with the material; however in terms of critical literacy I wonder if students would be reluctant to criticise something that is important to them.

The second article, by Julie Martello discusses using drama as a critical literacy tool in early childhood. This outlines a definition of critical literacy and then demonstrates how drama may be the best avenue for developing these vital skills for younger students. I also like this idea as drama is always well-received by young students and yes, I agree it could be a simpler way of approaching critical literacy.

Whilst neither article is specifically related to ICT, our discussions surrounding critical literacy suggest that students will benefit more if they are released onto the web with critical literacy skills in place. I would suggest that an integrated approach is required, using a variety of online and offline texts to teach critical literacy skills, with those skills being on a continuum that continues to develop and adapt to new situations.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, Matt, that the development of critical literacy needs to be an integrated - I would even say a cyclical - approach. I also agree that it's about a skills continuum (rather than some kind of binary literate/illiterate categories). I would add that it's a continuum we continue to move along throughout life ... there's always something new for all of us to learn about being critically literate.