Engaging Future Teachers in a Critical Literacy Pedagogy in the Tertiary Classroom
This paper explores some of the possibilities and dilemmas that have arisen for us as tertiary teachers of future teachers as we attempt a critical pedagogy through literacy. We are interested in problematising both the so-called 'literacy problems' of current preservice teachers, and also the orthodox canonical understanding of academic literacies. Grounded in the constraints of contemporary neo-conservative socio-political circumstances of life, including education, we imagine the possibility that education could be otherwise. Our critical literacy pedagogical approach seeks to disrupt our students' taken-for-granted understandings of themselves, their world and what it is, and could be like, to be teachers in schools. The material on which this paper is based is derived from our reflections on students' written responses to our pedagogy as we engage in on-going action research about our teaching. Through the language used in the responses, we see evidence of students' engagement (or not) in the critical enterprise. Contradictions emerge regarding the varying discourses about learning, knowledge, teaching and academic literacies that the students and we, as teachers, live out in the tertiary classroom. In making visible our struggles to explore with our students that which is 'not yet', we foreground and celebrate tertiary teaching.
Keywords: critical pedagogy, critical literacy, teacher education, action research, tertiary teaching, academic literacies
Ms Lynne Noone
Lecturer in education, School of Education, University of Ballarat
Dr Patricia Anne Cartwright
Lecturer in English Education, School of Education, Australian Catholic University (Ballarat Campus)