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Critical Literacy development

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Started by Mary-Anne Murphy 13 Sep 2013 9:33pm () Replies (5)

How are you using etools to support the development of critical literacy? Share your examples.Laughing

Critical Literacy: Critical literacy is the ability to actively read text in a manner that promotes a deeper understanding of socially constructed concepts; such as power, inequality, and injustice in human relationships. Critical literacy encourages individuals to understand and question the attitudes, values, and beliefs of written texts, visual applications, and spoken words.


  • Sandy Lediard (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2013 6:22pm ()

    Hi Mary-Anne

    We had an opportunity to practise some critical literacy in our class today. The students skyped someone they know who is currently holidaying in Paris.  She told them about eating foie gras.  The person said they had felt a little guilty thinking about what the goose had been through. This prompted the students to search around to find out what foie gras is.  They found various websites and videos with differing perspectives.  We focussed on two videos - one produced by PETA and one produced from a 'foodie' who visited a traditional free range foie gras producer.   We had an interesting dicussion about the importance of knowing who produces texts and for what purposes.  I guess it's not different from what I might try to do without digital technoloy, but oh how wonderful it is to have the technology available!

  • Sandy Lediard (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2013 6:27pm ()

    As a further thought to my earlier post about foie gras, having the technology meant that I could capture the teaching moment right at the time it presented itself.

  • Mary-Anne Murphy (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2013 6:43pm ()

    Kia ora Sandy,

    Many thanks for your wonderful contribution and sharing of practice. Isn't it amazing that when we and our students enter into learning opportunities, we never quite know what will evolve from them! As you have clearly shown, our work as "facilitators of learning" is to look for the opportunities to develop student learning. What you have shared comes under the realm of Critical Digital Literacy, so yes, the lines are blurred in that manner. My goodness the technology can certainly make the world of difference; I totally agree. Another great tool is Slingnote app that students can use to select and synthesise information from multiple sources. Actively using thinking maps as you have done also models to the students means of sythesising information. Many thanks for your sharing; it is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from each other :)

    Nga mihi nui.

  • Mary-Anne Murphy (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2013 8:56pm ()

    More info to spur further thinking and conversations...

    Blending the "e" into Critical Literacy:
    A couple of You Tube clips that explain Critical Literacy further:
    3 aspects that link with critical literacy are:
    1. "Language is a metafunctional construct in which acts of meaning occur" (Halliday, 1993). Two questions around this are: 1. To what extent do we deconstruct, then collaboratively construct student understandings/mental models around vocabulary. 2. To what extent as students/teachers are we aware of the power of language to either support or break-down societal assumptions, discrimination, beliefs and values. Concept maps via comic life are a powerful tool to construct shared understandings around vocabulary. refer Dr. David Whitehead's work (Waikato University)  http://www.eqa.edu.au/site/framingthought.html

    2. Exploring the space between and around texts: Two questions we may ask when analysing texts are: 1. What do you consider was the author's intent when they wrote this? 2. What was not being said and why do you think this was? Slingnote app and venn diagrams are tools to assist in looking at the space between texts. 

    3. Exploring perceptual positions within texts: Three different perceptual positions we might take when analysing texts are: 
      1st position: First person perspective.
      2nd position: Other person's perspective.
      3rd position: Observer's perspective. 
      Comic life and Tellagami are two e-tools that can assist with this analysis. Hot seating, Character in role and character on the wall are drama techniques that can also assist in positional perspective development.


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