Critical information consumption and textbooks used in teacher preparation programs
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Critical information literacy (CIL) and critical information consumption (CIC) are essential skills and habits of minds for pre-service teachers to develop as they prepare to educate future generations. The purpose of this critical discourse analysis was to investigate ways in which introductory teaching or pedagogy textbooks used in public universities' teacher preparation programs facilitate (or decline to facilitate) the direct and indirect application of CIL/CIC skills. Specifically, textbooks were evaluated on their (1) direct and indirect philosophical and epistemological discussion; (2) direct discussion of evaluating sources of information; (3) attention to power dynamics, biases, ideologies, and underlying assumptions in media and scholarly work; and (4) use of buzzwords and/or epistemically suspect statements. Findings were based on inductive analysis of emergent themes and suggest that there are key features of a text that indicate how CIL/CIC-favorable a work may be. These features include questioning, linguistic granularity, presenting strengths and criticisms of prominent paradigms, attending to power asymmetries in the classroom, and making explicit the hidden or implied messages in educational settings.
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