Teachers as Moral Compasses: Exploring Critical Literacy through Digital Social Justice Book Talks

Janette M. Hughes, Lorayne Robertson


A classroom-based study aimed to scaffold preservice teachers’ critical literacy through an exploration of trade picture books. The paper discusses preservice teachers’ shifting views of critical literacy and the place of critical literacy in the language arts classroom. It also assesses the usefulness of digital book talks for engaging preservice teachers with social justice issues. The book talks provided novice teachers with opportunities to question and challenge assumptions, evaluate their own actions and attitudes toward accepted moral standards, and to engage in positive social action. The preservice teachers’ responses to the assignment suggest a number of ways in which teachers can effectively use new media to explore social justice and equity issues with young students.


preservice teachers; critical literacy; picture books; language arts classroom; digital book talks; social justice

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20360/G2Z306