CriticalLiteracy Donna McDonald Jenna Smith Demond Tidwell
What is Critical Literacy? • Critical Literacy is an instructional approach that advocates the adoption of “critical” perspectives towards text. • It encourages readers to actively analyze texts and offers strategies for uncovering underlying messages. • It is the ability to read in an active, reflective manner in order to better understand power, inequality, and injustice in human relationships.
Principles for Reading Critically • Help students learn to examine texts in light of purpose, language, and intent. • Use or develop habits of mind to guide students in reading critically and thoughtfully. • Show students how to question the author to determine his or her viewpoint, possible bias, and meaning. • Use authentic assessments that accurately assess critical thinking. • Provide challenging, relevant texts; show students how to approach them; and expect that students can read them.
Activities that Foster Critical Thinking and Reading • Students read a common text from various points of view, especially one that is base on true events. • Help students learn to evaluate commercials or advertisements and discuss how companies use methods of persuasion to sell their products. • Teach students to identify common propaganda techniques when assessing visual and print based text.
Evaluating Commercials and Advertisements • As a table, discuss what techniques the producers used to make their product appealing? What audience do you think they are trying to appeal to? • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw5PqgPjIk4
Four Resources Model • Code breaker refers to decoding • Meaning maker to composing and comprehending a written, visual, or spoken text’s message • Text user to understanding and acting on the functions of text structure, tone, and sequencing of information. • Text analyst to unpacking social, economic and political assumptions of a text’s message in order to redesign the message
Teaching Literacy for Critical Awareness • To motivate students to explore the assumptions authors seem to have been operating under when constructing their message. • To facilitate students’ thinking about decisions authors make (and why) with regard to word choice, content (included as well as excluded) and interests served • To encourage multiple readings of the same text from different perspectives.
What is Culturally Responsive Teaching? • Defined as using the cultural characteristics, experiences, and perspectives of ethnically diverse students as conduits for teaching students more effectively. • It is based on the assumption that when academic knowledge and skills are situated within the lived experiences and frames of reference of students, they are more personally meaningful, have higher interest appeal, and are learned more easily and thoroughly.
5 Essential Elements of culturally responsive Teaching: • Developing a knowledge base about cultural diversity • Including ethnic and cultural diversity content in the curriculum • Demonstrating caring and building learning communities • Communicating with ethnically diverse students • Responding to ethnic diversity in the delivery of instruction
Developing a knowledge base about cultural Diversity • 1. Understanding the cultural characteristics and contributions of different ethnic groups. • 2. Acquiring detailed factual information about cultural particularities of specific ethnic group. • 3. Acquiring the knowledge.
Designing Culturally Relevant Curricula: Three types • formalplans for instruction approved by the policy and governing bodies of educational systems • symbolic curriculum: include images, symbols, icons, mottos, awards, celebrations, and other artifacts that can be used to teach students knowledge, skills, morals and values. • societal curriculum: knowledge, ideas, and impressions about ethnic groups that are portrayed in the mass media.
Demonstrating Cultural Caring And Building A Learning Community • Teachers need to know how to use “cultural scaffolding” in teaching students of color. • Building culturally responsive learning communities is a moral imperative, a social responsibility, and a pedagogical necessity. • Teachers genuinely believe in the intellectual potential of their students. • When a group succeeds or falters, so do its individual members.
Cross-Cultural Communications • Culture influences “what we talk about; how we talk about it; what we see; attend to, or ignore; how we think; and what we think about.” • Communication is the “ground of meeting and the foundation of community” among human beings. • The communicative styles of most ethnic groups of color in the United States are more active, participatory. Dialectic, and multimodal.
Cultural Congruity in Classroom Instruction • Culture is deeply embedded in any teaching; therefore, teaching ethically diverse students has to be multiculturalized. • Learning styles are complex, multidimensional, and dynamic. • Pedagogical styles bridge connections of prior knowledge with new knowledge. • Research indicates that culturally relevant examples have positive effects on the academic achievement of ethnically diverse students.
All humans are born different; therefore, there is no one universal learning style and teacher pedagogy should include different culturally relevant mediums to increase teaching effectiveness, retention, and academic success of their students.