In 2001 an NCTE resolution was passed about teaching in a time of crisis. The crisis was different that year, but the ideas inherent in that resolution remind us of the critical role literacy educators play in navigating through tragic events like the one we’re grappling with today. (This excerpt is adapted from the original text.)
- Literature and writing instruction are a means for understanding loss, anger, war, and difference;
- Language study is a vehicle for understanding conflict, propaganda, and democratic discourse; and
- Critical literacy is an instrument essential to an informed citizenship and global understanding.
As we field the barrage of messages in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, that critical literacy lens has never felt more crucial.
Difficult Days and Difficult Texts
In this 2001 Voices from the Middle article, Robert E. Probst explores the important role stories play in our ability to make sense of tragedy.
Teaching for Critical Literacy: An Ongoing Necessity to Look Deeper and Beyond
This 2006 English Journal article from Michael J. Michell offers three examples of how he made critical literacy teaching hands-on in his classroom.
Our past and present world is rife with examples of intolerance, lies, corruption, crimes against humanity, conflict, genocide. These are the daily events that should compel English teachers to concern themselves with teaching about how to live in harmony and peace with one another, how to see beyond the written word, and how to help all become more fully human.
Seeing Multiple Perspectives: An Introductory Critical Literacy Lesson
This is a ReadWriteThink resource by Theodore Kesler for elementary school students.