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"Tools to Expose": How Students Can Disrupt Canonical Texts Through Critical Literacy and Analytical Writing

Sat, April 10, 12:20 to 1:20pm EDT (12:20 to 1:20pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Writing and Literacies Roundtable Sessions


Critical literacy is the ability to respond to prejudices and biases in texts. ELA teachers can help students respond to problematic ideologies through text-based analytical writing. This study examines 13 essays that reflected varying levels of critical literacy. Results indicate that while all students demonstrated critical literacy in their writing, students who wrote to an identifiable audience showcased the greatest potential for affecting social change, a key tenant of critical literacy. This research suggests that developing literacy skills needed to engage in complex social and political issues is linked to developing a strong sense of audience. This work can help educators take responsibility for helping students to produce writing that questions textual authority and real power structures in their lives.