Using Literacy to Enact Critical Pedagogy and Scientific Inquiry: An Analytic Literature Review
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Literacy is a powerful tool to engage students in learning about the social, cultural, political, and natural worlds around them. This is especially true within the discipline of science where students use reading and writing to engage in scientific inquiry. In the era of accountability reform, however, students spend more time acquiring reading and writing skills instead of using them to engage in content area learning. This is especially true for racially, linguistically, and economically diverse students who confront oppressive schooling conditions daily. In this analytic literature, I engage with recent scholarship to understand how literacy can be used as a tool to engage in both scientific inquiry and critical pedagogy. I argue that Paulo Freire’s (1970) theory of critical literacy offers a way to reimagine inquiry as an instructional approach that can engage students in meaningful learning, confronting injustice,and taking action toward social change.