Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Stanley Steiner, Ph.D.


With a huge focus on professional development as a method to increase knowledge and skills, one-shot initiatives or flyby in-services bombard the teaching field. Moreover, with the increase of diversity, such as second language needs, children of poverty and other social issues in schools, a focus should be on implementing a critical stance through teacher collaboration

Critical literacy aims to make the unknown known and fight injustices, but many teachers are not aware of this ideology. Simply reading articles and books about critical literacy will not necessarily lead to a critical stance, pedagogical revolution, or engaging learning for students. Working on the belief of blending critical literacy in a collaborative setting with teachers, this qualitative case study investigated how middle school teachers discuss and interact around the four-dimension framework of critical literacy.

Four face-to-face focus groups and four online Edmodo sessions consisting of teachers who had varying background knowledge of critical literacy collaboratively discussed critical literacy concepts. Participants’ discussions were analyzed to identify themes such as interest, support needed, and obstacles with critical literacy. These themes revealed a need to introduce and study critical literacy during pre-service training as well as the need for teachers to engage in a professional learning group to discuss critical literacy implementation in the classroom. Teachers also sought contextual examples and modeling of lessons to engage students with critical literacy. Engagement in critical literacy activities with others has the potential to increase teachers’ understanding and classroom implementation.

Blending critical literacy in a collaborative setting with teachers could answer the need for professional learning while also promoting social justice.