Production #5: Critical Pedagogy and Popular Culture
My definition of critical literacies is when individuals develop analytical and critical thinking skills to interpret text. With these skills to think critically, individuals can become conscious of those who are oppressed within society, identify dominate power structures and use literacy as a way for transformative action. As Morrell stated, “critical literacy is the ability to not only read and write but to assess texts in order to understand the relationships between power and domination that underlie and inform them.” (pg.241)
As a future educator, it is of importance for me to find content that students can relate to or content that they are passionate and interested in and incorporate it into class. Morrell and Duncan- Andrade (2002), suggest using music culture as a way for students to develop skills in critical consciousness to identify those who are oppressed within society. When students start to break down music and look at it through a critical lens, they will see that “music represents a resistant voice of urban youth that individual face on a daily basis” (Morrell and Duncan-Andrade, 2002, pg.88). When students start to understand that their voices have the power to make a difference within their society, will they then become agents of change. Students often listen to music or watch movies, and feel a connection with the lyrics or a character portrayed in the movie. When there is a relatable connection between the music/movie, it can be beneficial for teachers to ask students to produce content (posters, videos, blog posts) to deconstruct the meaning and develop critical consciousness through being critical researchers. With technology now being a large part of everyday life, students can produce social action through a variety of platforms (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) to bring awareness of oppressive ideologies within society.
In our previous readings, Appleman (2009) stated that “when a group is frequently being portrayed as powerless, their cultural identity needs to be reclaimed and restored”. Through critical literacies, students find their voice of where they stand and to help bring awareness to power imbalances within society and become agents of change.