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ERIC Number: EJ770175
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7996
Teaching for Critical Literacy in Social Studies
Wolk, Steven.
Social Studies, v94 n3 p101-106 May-Jun 2003
Critical literacy is about how people see and interact with the world; it is about having, as a regular part of one's life, the skills and desire to evaluate society and the world. It is especially focused on issues of power: Who has it and who is denied it; how it is used and how it is abused. More specifically, it often revolves around issues of race, culture, class, gender, media, and the environment in the hope of creating a more just, humane, democratic, and equal world. By teaching for critical literacy, teachers help their students to see and question the dominant power themes in society and the world, such as racism, sexism, corporate and media hegemonies, and the effects on the environment of individuals and systems. The purpose of critical literacy is not to tell students what to think but to empower them to think and take action on their decisions through inquiry, dialogue, activism, and their daily decisions about how to live so that they help make a better world. Social studies is the perfect forum for that critique to take place. At its foundation, social studies is about questioning and power, living for the common good, understanding and appreciating the past to create a better future, celebrating and encouraging diversity in perspective and culture, making daily moral judgments about how to act and what to believe, and being informed of events and issues locally and globally. The purpose of social studies is to help children participate in civic life. In this article, the author suggests ways to teach for critical literacy in common social studies topics. She also discusses the use of children's literature in teaching critical literacy and provides examples of critical literacy projects.
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Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A