Measures and References: Critical Literacy

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Socratic Seminars (Polite & Adams, 1997): Students prepare questions and reflections on a text and participate in discussion on the text following a set protocol which can be assessed by teacher-created rubrics.

Media Inquiry Projects (Goodman, 2005): Students create different forms of media (e.g., documentaries, podcasts) based on varied texts and are assessed on their presentations using teacher-created rubrics which include questioning skills and ability to see multiple perspectives.


Behrman, E.H. (2006). Teaching about language, power, and text: A review of classroom practices that support critical literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(6), 490.

Franquiz, M. E., & Salinas, C. S. (2011). Newcomers developing English literacy through historical thinking and digitized primary sources. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20(3), 196-210.

Freire, P. (1983). The importance of the act of reading. Journal of Education, 165(1), 5-11.

Goodman, S. (2005). The practice and principles of teaching critical literacy at the educational video center. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 104(1), 206-228.

Johnston, P. & Costello, P. (2005) Principles for literacy assessment. Reading Research Quarterly 40(2), 256-267.

Kolić-Vehovec, S., Zubković, B. R., & Pahljina-Reinić, R. (2014). Development of metacognitive knowledge of reading strategies and attitudes toward reading in early adolescence: The effect on reading comprehension. Psychological Topics, 23(1), 77-98.

Kong, S.C. (2014) Developing information literacy and critical thinking skills through domain knowledge learning in digital classrooms: An experience of practicing flipped classroom strategy. Computers & Education, 78, 160-173.

Lee, C.D., & Spratley, A. (2010). Reading in the disciplines: The challenges of adolescent literacy. New York, NY: Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Lewis, C., & Dockter Tierney, J. (2011). Mobilizing emotion in an urban English classroom. Changing English, 18(3), 319-329.

Leu, D.J., Kinzer, C., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Henry, L. (2005). New literacies: A dual-level theory of the changing nature of literacy instruction, and assessment. In D. Alvermann, N. Unrau, & R.B. Ruddell (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed., pp. 1150-1175). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Lo, J. C., & Adams, C. I. (2018). Civic literacy through literacy instruction: Using structured academic controversy in a government classroom. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 13(1), 83-104.

Moje, E., Overby, M., Tysvaer, N., & Morris, K. (2008). The complex world of adolescent literacy: Myths, motivations, and mysteries. Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 107-154.

Moje, E.B., Young, J.B., Readence, J.E., & Moore, D.W. (2000). Reinventing adolescent literacy for new time: Perennial and millennial issues. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 45(5), 400-410.

Muhammad, G. E. (2018). A plea for identity and criticality: Reframing literacy learning standards through a four-layered model. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62(2), 137-142.

Nelson, K. S. (2019). Effects of critical literacy on comprehension: Bridging paradigms in classroom instruction and educational research (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Information & Learning. (UMI No. AAI11005537)

Palinscar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and instruction, 1(2), 117-175.

Park, J.Y. (2012). A different kind of reading instruction: Using visualizing to bridge reading comprehension and critical literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(7), 629-640.

Polite, V. C., & Adams, A. H. (1997). Critical thinking and values clarification through Socratic seminars. Urban Education, 32(2), 256-78.

The New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, (1), 60.