How to Teach Children Critical Literacy

This is an approach that has to do with the acquisition of certain critical skills in a bid to enhance pioneering/groundbreaking teaching and knowledge simultaneously, active inquiry, and in-depth thinking. With the aid of critical literacy, students are able to consider in-depth subjects they have read and not just brush it on the surface or cram the information.

Here, literacy is much more than just the ability to summarize the key points of an article or story or the ability to sound out or decode the words on a page. Using critical literacy, students see any text, whether it’s a textbook, novel, picture book, etc., and can analyze them and reflect on their aspects of meaning. While critical literacy doesn’t have a set definition, it has some key aspects. However, these aspects can take on different shapes depending on an individual’s orientation to critical literacy, at which level the person is working, and their social context.

Critical literacy involves having an entrenched critical way of being or perspective that provides a continuing critical orientation to texts and practices. Encouraging students to take photographs of billboards or graffiti, to write down the messages they observe in public transport, etc., can help them to critically read the everyday texts.

Students learn best when what they’re learning is important to their lives. Therefore, the issues, topics, and questions they raise should be fundamental to developing an inclusive critical curriculum. Listening to the concerns of the students enables teachers to understand how they’re reading problematizing their words.

From a critical literacy standpoint, the world is viewed as a socially constructed text, which can be read. The earlier students become introduced to the idea, the sooner they can comprehend what it means to be researchers of objects, language, spaces, etc. They can explore issues like what counts as language, who decides, and whose language counts. They can also evaluate ways texts can be rewritten, revised, or reconstructed to reframe or shift the message(s) communicated.

Critical literacy practices can contribute to altering inequitable ways of being, as well as problematic social practices. Students who engage in critical literacy from an early age become prepared to develop a potential to think and act ethically, make informed decisions concerning issues such as power and control, and engage in the exercise of democratic citizenship. Therefore, they can contribute to making the world a more impartial place in a better way.

Choose your Reaction!