This semester students in READ 6308 explored various theories about reading and learning to read. As part of this exploration, they wrote a post for our blog.
Critical Literacy is a theory that allows our classroom to become an inquiry-based environment that gives opportunity to our students to question any reading that tries to make meaning. Critical Literacy focuses on the fact that literacy is not neutral with the meaning it trying to create, a student must challenge the meaning of it. In return the theory of Critical Literacy creates students who are inquirers, open minded, active readers, and strategic readers.
Paulo Freire is considered the father of Critical Literacy. He was an advocate of curriculum that was shared by all, and is student centered based on interest that will lead to engagement. Paulo Freire crusaded for literacy to be accessible to all social classes due to the fact that only the wealthy afforded the privilege of being literate.
Critical Literacy classroom should be student centered with the teacher being a facilitator. The classroom is an open forum to discuss literacy based on students questioning of what the meaning of the author. Students should not rely on the teacher to produce any questions, guidelines, or answers. The teacher should be guiding students to accept all ideas that are presented from all students that take part of literacy presented. Student are encouraged and expected to provide any form of literacy to push forward any discussion in the classroom.
The world that we live in today is a changing on a daily basis. What is true today will not be true tomorrow-while this might be an exaggeration this is our world today. With so much information being bombarded to us, how are our students supposed to decipher the meaning of this information? The theory of Critical Information provides students the option to practice more to analyze information, evaluate sources, and synthesize all the information. This will create more critical thinkers, critical readers, and critical students that will move learning forward.
Classroom have the ability to provide literacy in the classroom and have students think for themselves and not need for the teacher to give them the answer, tell them what to think, or recall, restate, summarize, choice the best answer choice. Allowing students to take control of not just their learning but of their own thinking is what all teacher dream of. This is the reason we all are in the profession of teaching; It is for that moment when the students begin to conceptualize their own thinking and begin every statement with, “After reading the text, I strongly believe…”