{NEW CHAPTER} Developing Anglo-centric literacy: problematizing understandings of criticality


Bekar, M. and Fay, R. (2020). Developing Anglo-centric literacy: problematizing understandings of criticality. In A. Simpson & F. Dervin (Eds.), The meanings of criticality in education research: reflecting on critical pedagogy. (pp.23-45). Cham.: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56009-6_2

Abstract: In this chapter, with a focus on Anglo-centred academic literacy, we seek to problematize the concept of criticality in educational thinking. Through our collegial discussions over many years, we reflect on our contrasting academic experiences and identify two aspects of criticality relevant to the development of academic literacy, namely critical thinking skills and a critical stance towards ethnocentric understandings of academic literacy. We also note our shared unease with the notion and practice of criticality (and, more particularly, critical thinking skills) as operationalized in English-medium academic literacy as if the understanding of such criticality were a given. To explore this unease further, we ask about the nature of our shaping experiences and understandings of academic literacy. We then present the ecological lens we adopted to address this question, a lens involving a further understanding of the critical, namely critical action intentionality. Our ecological analysis of our experiences leads us to question whether the accepted given status of such understandings of academic literacy (critical thinking skills) is appropriate for particular contexts.

Keywords: Academic literacy; Ecological; Affordances; Anglo-centred literacy; Critical action intentionality; Criticality; Shaping influences