Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, Vol 9, No 2 (2015)

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Exploring the Role of Transitional Educational Spaces for Novice Critical Literacy Teachers

Barbara A Pollard


In this study, grounded theory was used to explore the personal challenges and contradictions experienced by a novice critical literacy teacher when attempting to practice the principles of critical literacy theory. Although many critical literacy theorists heavily criticize banking modes of education, this study suggests that making an instant leap from authoritarian and traditional transmission teaching to the ideal ‘self-inquiry’ critical thinking context is highly unrealistic. What is lacking in the literature and what this study attempts to provide is the idea of a transitional learning space. This space consists of a learning curve that moves educators more towards the goals of critical literacy pedagogy while acknowledging the inherited authoritarian teaching dispositions created by curriculum outcome driven expectations. By understanding this tension, educators may be more willing to accept small gains as victories.


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Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices is a non-commercial initiative committed to the ethical dissemination of academic research and educational thinking. CLTP acknowledges the thoughtful dedication of authors, editors and reviewers to develop and promote this open journal initiative. The journal receives copy-editing sponsorship from the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland. CLTP has previously received  copy editing support from the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham, UK.