The Learning 2.0 School

Shifting Perceptions of Teaching and Learning in and out of the School Library

Why is Critical Literacy Important?

Posted by Michelle Torrise on October 4, 2011

As I look at the Common Core Standards, one skill set that stands out to me as a media specialist (although not specifically named) is Critical Literacy.  And, one analytical facet of Critical Literacy is identifying stereotypes in print and other media.  I’m making this statement because I just opened an article of interest, “Turning Digital Natives into Digital Citizens” by Dave Saltman, and to my surprise, I read.

Today’s K–12 students are commonly called digital natives because they have grown up with digital technology. But natives can run wild, using the Internet to (wittingly or unwittingly) plagiarize others’ work or bully peers using social media.”

At first glance, this passage [published in The Harvard Education Letter (Sept/Oct 2011)], seems like a very appropriate statement.

Now, read the passage again, this time noting the underlined text.

“Today’s K–12 students are commonly called digital natives because they have grown up with digital technology. But natives can run wild, using the Internet to (wittingly or unwittingly) plagiarize others’ work or bully peers using social media.”

The stereotype (that natives “run wild”) might not be obvious at first glance; however, if the text is read critically, one can see that even an op-ed in The Harvard Education Letter (a blog published by The Harvard Education Publication Group) can/must be criticized.

Why is this important? 

In an age of information overload, students must be able to critically analyze the information they seek and receive—regardless of authority, regardless of reputation, even, and especially if, the information they published out of Harvard.

If you are interested in reading the entire article, see > http://www.hepg.org/hel/article/511

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