Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Greig, Christopher (Education)


Elementary Education.




ABSTRACT This study utilizes a particular application of a critical literacy program, as a means to eventually alleviate achievement gaps and alter the structure of class inequity . The study is based on the conceptual idea that perhaps one hope that society has in changing systemic inequalities and attending to various social justice issues is presenting the issues to students when they are very young and impressionable. Instead of allowing mainstream culture to dictate unfair norms and practices by simply abiding to the status quo, this study suggests that schools should aim to be the vehicle for transformational change by cultivating critical thinkers who can socially analyze current aspects of society and become active proponents of change. The ideas in this study support the overall premise that a critical literacy approach will enable poor and working class students to become more aware of the power of their own voice, words, and actions. However, upon putting this critical literacy theory into practice, the researcher was faced with many contradictions and tensions that are explored and discussed in the results section of this paper. The results were unanticipated and were founded, to a large extent, on a continuous self reflexive practice by the researcher.