Tensions and Challenges in Enacting Critical Literacy Pedagogy

  • Hyesun Cho
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter depicts the tensions and challenges that we faced in the process of enacting critical literacy pedagogy in the classroom. It uncovers the tacit assumptions underlying the different dispositions and perspectives of classroom community members. This chapter also describes the contextual and institutional constraints in actualizing critical literacy pedagogy. The challenges include structuralistic binarism and cultural essentialism perceived by students, students’ perceived notion of “critical” as too confrontational and too political, and time and institutional constraints faced by both teachers and students in and out of the classroom. Further, I discuss my balancing act as a critical pedagogue and facilitator in the teacher education classroom. Disrupting students’ beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge is uncomfortable for the teacher when she values a sense of community and care within the classroom. However, the making of third space inevitably involves continuing modifications to subject positions, both of teachers and students. It is evident that identity formation is not analogous to harmony and consent; rather, such process is often painful, conflicted, and acrimonious. Without careful background work and critical dialogue, student learning can only result in interpretations that fit into their previously learned frameworks.

References

  1. Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination. Austin: University of Texas.Google Scholar
  2. Benesch, S. (1999). Thinking critically, thinking dialogically. TESOL Quarterly, 33, 573–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benham, M. K. (2007). Mo’olelo: On culturally relevant story making from an indigenous perspective. In Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology (pp. 512–533). Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhabha, H. (1994). The location of culture. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Dervin, F., & Gross, Z. (Eds.). (2016). Intercultural competence in education: Alternative approaches for different times. London: Palgraves.Google Scholar
  6. Duncan-Andrade, J. M. R., & Morrell, E. (2008). The art of critical pedagogy: Possibilities for moving from theory to practice in urban schools (Vol. 285). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  7. Eckert, P., & Wenger, E. (2005). What is the role of power in sociolinguistic variation? Journal of SocioLinguistics, 9, 582–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Edelsky, C., & Johnson, K. (2004). Critical whole language practice in time and place. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 1(3), 121–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fornas, J. (1995). Cultural theory and late modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Foucault, M. (1980). Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings 1972–1977. London: Harvester.Google Scholar
  11. Gee, J. P. (1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  12. Giroux, H. A. (1995). Series foreword. In M. Peters (Ed.), Education and the postmodern condition (pp. ix–xvii). Westport: Bergin and Garvey.Google Scholar
  13. Gore, J. (1993). The struggle for pedagogies: Critical and feminist discourses as regimes of truth. London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  14. Gupta, A., & Ferguson, J. (1997). Culture, power, place: Ethnography at the end of an era. In A. Gupta & J. Ferguson (Eds.), Culture, power, place: Explorations in critical anthropology (pp. 1–29). Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hardin, J. M. (2001). Opening spaces: Critical pedagogy and resistance theory in composition. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  16. Harklau, L. (1999). Representing culture in the ESL writing classroom. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Culture in second language teaching and learning (pp. 109–130). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Iyer, R. (2007). Negotiating critical, postcritical literacy: The problematic of text analysis. Literacy, 41(3), 161–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacobs-Huey, L. (2002). The natives are gazing and talking back: Reviewing the problematics of positionality, voice, and accountability among “native” anthropologists. American Anthropologist, 104(3), 791–804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, E., & Vasudevan, L. (2012). Seeing and hearing students’ lived and embodied critical literacy practices. Theory Into Practice, 51(1), 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnston, B. (1999). Putting critical pedagogy in its place: A personal account. TESOL Quarterly, 33, 557–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kincheloe, J. L. (2005). On to the next level: Continuing the conceptualization of the bricolage. Qualitative Inquiry, 11(3), 323–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kostogriz, A. (2005). Dialogical imagination of (inter)cultural spaces: Rethinking the semiotic ecology of second language and literacy learning. In J. K. Hall, G. Vitanova, & L. Marchenkova (Eds.), Dialogue with Bakhtin on second and foreign language learning: New perspectives (pp. 189–210). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  23. Kramer-Dahl, A. (2001). Importing critical literacy pedagogy: Does it have to fail? Language and Education, 15(1), 14–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kubota, R. (2004). The politics of cultural difference in second language education. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 1(1), 21–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lalik, R., & Oliver, K. L. (2007). Differences and tensions in implementing a pedagogy of critical literacy with adolescent girls. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(1), 46–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lin, A. M. Y. (2004). Introducing a critical pedagogical curriculum: A feminist, reflexive account. In B. Norton & K. Toohey (Eds.), Critical pedagogies and language learning (pp. 271–290). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Luke, A. (2000). Critical literacy in Australia: A matter of context and standpoint. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 43(5), 448–461.Google Scholar
  28. Luke, A. (2012). Critical literacy: Foundational notes. Theory Into Practice, 51(1), 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Morita, N. (2004). Negotiating participation and identity in second language academic communities. TESOL Quarterly, 38(4), 573–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Morrell, E. (2015). Critical literacy and urban youth: Pedagogies of access, dissent, and liberation. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Mueller, J., & O’Connor, C. (2007). Telling and retelling about self and “others”: How pre-service teachers (re)interpret privilege and disadvantage in one college classroom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 840–856.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ochs, E. (1987). The impact of stratification and socialization on men’s and women’s speech in Western Samoa. In S. U. Philips, S. Steele, & C. Tanz (Eds.), Language, gender, and sex in comparative perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Pennycook, A. (2001). Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  34. Ramanathan, V., & Kaplan, R. B. (1996). Some problematic “channels” in the teaching of critical thinking in current L1 composition textbooks: Implications for L2 students-writers. Issues in Applied Linguistics, 7, 225–249.Google Scholar
  35. Rampton, B. (1995). Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  36. Rodriguez, T. L., & Cho, H. (2011). Eliciting critical literacy narratives of bi/multilingual teacher candidates across U.S. teacher education contexts. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(2011), 496–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shor, I. (1996). When students have power: Negotiating authority in critical pedagogy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  38. Simon, R. I. (1992). Teaching against the grain: Texts for a pedagogy of possibility. Toronto: OISE Press.Google Scholar
  39. Spivak, G. (1987). Subaltern studies: Deconstructing historiography. In G. C. Spivak (Ed.), Other worlds: Essays in cultural politics (pp. 215–219). New York: Methuen.Google Scholar
  40. Tew, J. (2002). Social theory, power, and practice. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yoon, B. (2016). Critical literacies: Global and multicultural perspectives. Singapore: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zeichner, K. (1995). Reflections of a teacher educator working for social change. In T. Russell & F. A. Korthagen (Eds.), Teachers who teach teachers: Reflections on teacher education (pp. 11–24). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  44. Zembylas, M. (2007). Emotional ecology: The intersection of emotional knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(4), 355–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zembylas, M. (2014). The place of emotion in teacher reflection: Elias, Foucault, and critical emotional reflexivity. Power and Education, 6(2), 210–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyesun Cho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and TeachingThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA

Personalised recommendations