In the article "Democracy's Young Heroes: An Instructional Model of Critical Literacy Practices," Vincent Ciardiello states that the main goal of literacy practices is to get the reader to see the underlying and multiple meanings in text. He suggests five practices to help the reader obtain this; these include looking at text from multiple perspectives, finding your authentic voice, recognition of social barriers, finding your identity, and listening to and responding to the "call of service." The purpose of teaching these practices is to help students become caring citizens which will stimulate "critical conversation." This type of conversation with peers and others during the school day keeps readers engaged in the lesson, and gets them thinking about the text by allowing them to hear what others think about it. While Ciardiello relates his literacy practices to social issues, I think they could be applied to any learning situation in reading. It is important for readers to look at text from multiple perspectives in all contexts, not just social, as well as finding the underlying meaning. I do think that teaching these practices to students from a social context is good though; the author used historical text about segregation and it got students to analyze how the people of that time might have felt or thought, leading them to their own sense of self-identity. I think this self-identification makes the reading meaningful for students, which is always very important.
Critical Literacy Practices
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