In the CritLit project (Critical Literacy in a Digital and Global Textual World), researchers collaborate with inservice teachers to investigate how pedagogical practices in the subject Norwegian in lower secondary school can empower students to become critical readers and producers of texts.
The contemporary global and digital textual world demands critical awareness of the texts surrounding us, of how texts represent the world, of the use of sources and of the blurry boundaries between commercial and noncommercial texts. The current need for increased attention to critical literacy is evident in the new national curriculum in Norway, where 'critical approaches to texts' has been introduced as one of the core elements in the subject Norwegian. The project therefore aims to develop new pedagogical practices and learning tools for lower secondary school students and to strengthen the work with critical literacy in teacher education.
The University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) is project owner, and the University of Agder (UiA) and the Australian Catholic University (ACU) are partners. One research team is located at USN, and collaborate with teachers and teacher students there, while another team is practicing the same activities at UiA. The Norwegian research teams will also collaborate with the Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education, ACU.
Stage one of the CritLit project was completed spring 2021. Totally 228 students involved in the CritLit project have answered an electronic survey regarding their critical literacy practices. Teachers from the same schools have been interviewed regarding their current teaching practices in critical literacy. Stage two is in progress, involving workshops with teachers, as well as development and testing of new pedagogical models and learning tools in classroom. At stage three, the learning outcomes of participating students will be evaluated, and new and innovative learning tools for critical literacy will be produced.
The result of the project will provide a stronger research-based foundation for critical literacy work in lower secondary school and teacher education. By strengthening collaborations amongst core partners in teacher education, CritLit will bring forward increased critical literacy competence in schools and in teacher education programs.
Critical Literacy in a Digital and Global Textual World (CritLit) aims to advance new learning and pedagogical models for critical literacy in lower secondary schooling (year 8-9, age 13-15) to enable students to become critical readers and creative producers of digital texts. The project will 1) Identify whether and how current literacy teaching practices in the subject of Norwegian cover critical perspectives, 2) Develop innovative learning tools for critical digital literacy and 3) Generate and implement new knowledge on critical literacy in digital environments in lower secondary schooling and teacher education. The project comprises collaboration with six praxis schools. In addition, students at MA level in teacher education at University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) and University of Agder (UiA) will be included. The research group comprises three researchers from USN, two from UiA and one from Australian Catholic University (ACU). The project consist of three stages: Stage 1: Identification of current teaching practices through semi-structured interviews with in-practice teachers and pre-tests of year 8 students.. Stage 2: Development and testing new learning tools. In-service teachers and MA students get pre-training and collaborate to examine the critical literacy implementation. Stage 3) Evaluation and mapping out learning outcomes through semi-structured interviews with in-practice teachers and post-test of year 9 students.
The results will produce principles for the implementation of critical literacy pedagogy in lower secondary schooling and in teacher education. Findings will produce needed research-based knowledge, since studies from Scandinavia are under-represented within the research field of critical literacy. The outcomes will benefit policy by the concretisation of the forthcoming Norwegian National Curriculum. Improved critical consciousness will contribute to better social integration, democratic participation and global citizenship.