First Steps in Critical Literacy
Swedeen, Scott T.
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This thesis study examines the experience of a class of teacher education students learning about and working with critical literacy. The study specifically focuses on students' attitudes towards critical literacy and their ability to put critical literacy into practice through the creation of literacy thematic units examining social issues. Data was collected through administering a survey to the whole class, examining a random sample of developed thematic units for evidence of critical literacy practice, and analyzing a random sample of responses to reflective questions for common themes in the students' experience with critical literacy. Results indicated that, while the students felt positive towards critical literacy, they were unable to create lessons that contained critical literacy practice. The study suggests that the students were not prepared to critically examine the social issues under study, and were therefore not able to create authentically critical lessons. Preparing teacher education students to become critical educators may require more than introducing critical methodologies; it may require a rethinking of teacher education programs.