Thinking outside the Box: A Critical Literacy Collaborative

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Reference Services Librarian






Purpose: This paper aims to discuss the practical application of critical librarianship through a critical literacy framework using a Teaching and Learning Grant. The purpose of this project was to provide teacher candidates in The College of Education at Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus, with tools to understand and practice reading through the lens of critical literacy. The project also serves as an example of how an instruction librarian can work with students outside of the traditional one-shot instruction session.

Design/methodology/approach: Students in the Fall 2016 section of EDUC 2120, Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity in Educational Contexts were introduced to the concept of critical literacy and participated in a series of interactive faculty-facilitated small group discussions with the librarian and College of Education faculty. They concentrated on an analysis of Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (2008).

Findings: Students provided positive feedback after the project. Many stated that they learned a great deal about the reading process in general and how to read from a critical literacy perspective. Students also stated that they began to think about looking more critically at information in general. Additionally, these pre-service educators now have more tools to use to help their future students become critical thinkers who can read their world for deeper meanings and understandings.

Originality/value: This project fills a need to help college students understand how to use critical literacy skills and become critical consumers of information. The initiative also fostered meaningful collaboration between a Reference and Instruction Librarian and colleagues in the College of Education while expanding on the one-shot instruction technique


Copyright and Open Access: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/2985