Critical Literacy in the Primary Classroom

Open Access
Dore, Cara V
Area of Honors:
Childhood and Early Adolescent Education
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Carla Zembal-Saul, Honors Advisor
  • Critical Literacy
  • Feminism
  • Children's Literature
  • Elementary
  • Primary
Critical Literacy is a framework through which teachers can encourage critical thinking in their students, through an analytical and productive domain (Winograd, 2014). This thesis illustrates my journey as a pre-service teacher through an understanding of ideologies in children’s literature, to a discovery of how Critical Literacy can equip students with the analytical tools to parse those ideologies, and finally to an application of Critical Literacy in my classroom. I begin with an ideological analysis of a popular young adult novel, to demonstrate the extent to which author bias runs through the literature we instruct. Then, I introduce Critical Literacy as a pedagogical tool to empower students to consider how texts position themselves and others. Finally, I describe the ways in which I implemented Critical Literacy at a first grade level. Implications for future practice are discussed.