Critical literacy in the teaching of composition: An analysis of the multi-layered, poly-voiced role of texts in the classroom.
AuthorPaddison, John Howard.
Committee ChairMiller, Thomas
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this research project is to investigate the manner in which texts are used in the classroom to either promote or inhibit critical literacy. Over a period of five months, from the Fall Semester of 1994, through the Spring Semester of 1995, I completed an ethnographic research study at four levels of education--the high school, the community college, the four-year college, and the university, all of which are located within Yavapai County in Northern Arizona. The results of that study are contained within this report. Chapter One of this report presents the main argument of this project--that is, that critical literacy too often is not a vital consideration in textual selection and application in the average English composition classroom. Chapter Two is a review of the theoretical definition of critical literacy as it has evolved over the past quarter century. Of most importance in this analysis, however, is the relationship of critical literacy to classroom texts, especially in terms of the implications of liberatory pedagogy. In Chapter Three of my report I establish the method by which I will use ethnography--specifically critical ethnography--to test my hypothesis in actual classroom observations. In this chapter I also explain my particular design, which involves direct classroom observation, as well as teacher and student questionnaires and interviews. These data-gathering methods provide the triangulation that is vital to my interpretation of the overall project. Chapters Four and Five of this report focus on the actual case studies. Chapter Four is a presentation of the overall conditions of observation at the various schools. The second part of the chapter is devoted to the presentation and interpretation of the descriptive notes that I took during my observation. Finally, in Chapter Five, I conclude my presentation with a discussion of the significant implications of my findings, as well as suggestions about the ways in which my study might be further extended.