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College of Education Encourages Critical Literacy in the Classroom

a young woman in a hijab speaks to young women in a seminar setting

(October 29, 2016) This semester, Armstrong Resource and Instruction Librarian Vivian Bynoe and College of Education professors Dr. Patricia Holt and Dr. Anne Katz implemented a critical literacy project, funded by a Teaching and Learning Grant.

Goals of the project include helping teacher candidates in Armstrong’s College of Education understand and practice reading with the lens of critical literacy, developing techniques to integrate critical literacy into curriculum and disseminating information about teaching critical literacy in the classroom to Armstrong faculty and other members of the wider community. 

To help foster this knowledge, College of Education students recently participated in a book discussion of Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. The novel is about a 17-year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim who decides to wear her hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women, on a full-time basis. Throughout discussions, students learn how to analyze writing from various perspectives and consider how they can apply critical literacy initiatives to their own teaching. Rania Afaneh, a student from Savannah Arts Academy, also visited and shared her personal experience as a young Muslim woman who recently started wearing a hijab.

The book discussion series culminates in a workshop with Dr. Stephanie Jones, a professor at the University of Georgia in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. Jones teaches courses on ethnographic-and-place-based teaching, feminist theory and pedagogy, social class and poverty, early childhood education and literacy. Jones will also present at a campus-wide lecture on Friday, October 28 at noon in Ogeechee Theater. 

Michael Benjamin, Ph.D.

“My favorite part about being a professor at Armstrong is the opportunity to engage with bright, talented students.”

Michael Benjamin, Ph.D.
Teaching since: 2009