Every year, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust offers Travelling Fellowships to British citizens from all walks of life to travel overseas and bring back knowledge and best practice for the benefit of others in their UK professions and communities. Fellows receive a travel grant to cover return and internal travelling, daily living and insurance within the countries visited. Fellowships usually last between 4 to 8 weeks.
One of the categories is ‘Education’. Those working to improve the achievement of students aged 5-19, with particular emphasis on English, Maths, Science and Technology are encouraged to submit travel and research proposals, outlining the ways in which learners in the UK stand to benefit.
I am most fortunate that my proposal was considered worthy of funding. My project’s title is, ‘Reading between the lines: improving the UK’s critical literacy education’. The need for this study stems from the increasing use in educational policy of ‘critical literacy’, conceived as a desirable skill for all learners to possess and use, yet it is poorly understood by teachers (Reid 2012).
So, what is critical literacy and why is it important?
Reid, A. (2012) ‘Gaps and silences: perceptions, practice and policy of critical literacy’, Critical literacies: theories and practices, 6, 1, 64-74.