#Instawoke : a case study of pre-service teachers’ experiences with critical consciousness raising via social media
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Concerns for educational equity for an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse K-12 student population has drawn attention to the preparation of future teachers’ multilingual, multicultural, and social justice-oriented capacities. This qualitative case study explored the pedagogical use of social justice-oriented social media in teacher education to develop critical consciousness and political and ideological clarity amongst a cohort of 22 elementary ESL-certified pre-service teachers. As part of their teacher education coursework, participants were asked to engage with a social justice-oriented Instagram account and submit ten written reflections responding to ten Instagram posts of their choice. These reflections were triangulated with participants’ autobiographical data and questionnaire results to draw conclusions about the ways in which they interpreted the content on the account particularly in light of their sociocultural backgrounds, their development as critically conscious educators, and their existing digital practices. Findings indicated that participants were on a trajectory towards critical consciousness and were strategically drawing on their emotions, text-to connections, their experiences with their students, and larger societal discourses to understand social and political issues. Additionally, pre-service teachers’ sociocultural backgrounds, particularly in terms of race, gender, and religion, played strong roles in their interpretations of social justice issues. As the use of social media for the purposes of critical consciousness development was an engaging tool, recommendations for social media use and social justice-oriented teacher education are provided
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