In the fall semester of 2016, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Vivian Bynoe collaborated with Dr. Patricia Holt, Professor in the College of Education and Dr. Anne Katz, Assistant Professor of Reading in the College of Education to help teach pre-service teachers learn the crucial skill of critical literacy. Throughout the course of the semester, students were provided with the opportunity to apply their knowledge of this conceptual framework through a series of faculty-facilitated discussions of the young adult novel, Does My Head Look Big in This? (Abdel-Fattah, 2008). The book is about a young Muslim woman who decides to wear her hijab on a full-time basis. Other activities involved a workshop with a critical literacy expert, and presentation by a local high-school student who recently began wearing her hijab. A pre-test of open-ended questions assessed the students’ knowledge of critical literacy prior to the discussions and a post-test revealed that students learned how to read their texts with more awareness of the social and political context in mind.
This project served as a meaningful collaboration between a librarian and two faculty members in the College of Education which resulted in a successful outreach program that integrated information literacy and critical literacy into the everyday curriculum. During this poster session, handouts will be provided with a detailed description of the book discussion activities and strategies to teach students critical literacy skills.