Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations
Edited By Kevin K. Kumashiro and Bic Ngo
Part Three: Learning to Read Critically: From High School to College to Teacher Education
Learning to Read Critically: From High School to College to Teacher Education p a r t t h r e e c h a p t e r f i v e Critical literacy is an orientation to “reading” that includes an understanding of how texts (e.g., oral stories, books, and media) position readers, listeners, and view- ers; how readers position texts; and how texts are positioned within social, cultur- al, historical, and political contexts. As Behrman (2006) observes, often “teachers find that to develop a critical perspective, traditional classroom texts need to be supplemented by other works of fiction, nonfiction, film, or popular culture” (p. 492). Media texts are important for classroom critical literacy practices because they provide alternate perspectives to a “supposed deficit in the traditional text” (Behrman, 2006, p. 492). Teacher educators must utilize a critical literacy approach with media in ELA methods classes in order to help future teachers examine the role media has played in their “apprenticeship of observation” (Lortie, 1975) and provide them with ways to incorporate the critical study of film, television, and other media into their future English classrooms. There are at least three important reasons for fostering a critical literacy ap- proach to media in preservice teacher education. First, there is a pressing need for teachers to understand the media’s influence on their own views of the profes- sion. Prospective teachers, many of whom have had a positive experience in school themselves, have a limited view of what teaching entails. In...
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