NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ1001528
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Examining Critical Literacy: Preparing Preservice Teachers to Use Critical Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom
Norris, Katherine; Lucas, Lisa; Prudhoe, Catherine
Multicultural Education, v19 n2 p59-62 Win 2012
Every semester one of the authors of this article, Catherine Prudhoe, challenges many of her preservice students' perceptions of a familiar and often favorite children's book, "The Giving Tree," by Shel Silverstein (1964). She begins the class by reading the text aloud to the students. Most smile, fondly remembering hearing the book as a child. A few become teary-eyed as the tree selflessly gives to the boy throughout his life. After reading the text, it is then discussed. The students usually comment on how the book teaches children to share and to love their friends. They talk about their remembrances of hearing the story read to them by a parent or teacher. Everyone is feeling happy. Then, the instructor asks the students to listen to the story again, this time paying attention to gender issues. Which gender is implied for the tree? Who is always giving and who is always taking? What messages does the story suggest for girls/women and for boys/men? As the class reads the book a second time, there is a definite change in the atmosphere of the discussion. The students begin to perceive the story in a different way. After debriefing, one brave student may say, "Well, thanks for ruining one of my favorite childhood books!" The other students will laugh and agree, however all are now more attuned to looking at texts from different perspectives. While it's not the authors' intention to ruin anyone's favorite childhood story book, it is their hope to develop in their students the ability to read and teach critically. In this article, they share the way they have approached introducing their early childhood preservice teachers to critical literacy. Very few of their preservice teachers have experienced critical literacy as learners in school, so they must engage them both as simultaneous learners and prospective teachers.
Caddo Gap Press. 3145 Geary Boulevard PMB 275, San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel: 415-666-3012; Fax: 415-666-3552; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A