Developing Student Critical Consciousness: Twitter as a Tool to Apply Critical Literacy in the English Classroom

Year of production: 2019

Image is illustrative. By Luke Chesser on Unsplash.

As young people today are flooded with information from a multitude of sources, they must be prepared to perceive the potentially oppressive and nefarious nature of many texts. Critical literacy is a theory and strategy that allows young people, along with people of all ages, to achieve just this; however, teachers often experience difficulties implementing and guiding students in taking crucial action steps in the classroom. This exploratory action research case study was conducted to address these concerns, as a teacher utilized Twitter to implement critical literacy and guide ethnically diverse eleventh grade students in applying critical literacy in an AP English Language and Composition class. The study was conducted within a unit on American Transcendentalist literature over the course of one month, and the teacher and students used their cell phones inside and outside of the classroom to access Twitter for purposes of research, communication, and interaction. Qualitative methods were used to collect data from student and teacher tweets, reflections, and interviews, which were analyzed with a qualitative conventional content analysis approach. Results showed that Twitter was effective in implementing critical literacy in the classroom. Additionally, multiple affordances included a transformation of teaching and learning in the classroom of study, amplified student voice, increased student engagement, and a potential for student action. Results are discussed in the context of students’ achievement of critical action and approach to a state of critical consciousness and may be of interest to the teacher or administrator challenged by critical literacy implementation, curious about critical literacy, or seeking additional technology-infused literacy strategies.

Recommended Citation
Kunnath, J. P., & Jackson, A. (2019). Developing Student Critical Consciousness: Twitter as a Tool to Apply Critical Literacy in the English Classroom. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(1), 52-74.