Moving Beyond “Agreeable” Texts and “Boring” Tasks: Pairing YAL and Critical Literacy in Teacher Education


Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name When Scholarship Produced

Curriculum and Instruction

Document Type


Publication Date



This article considers the power of approaching young adult literature from a critical literacy perspective in teacher education and how that impacts emerging teachers’ ability to consider its role in their future teaching. Specifically, we explore how critical literacy – the exposure to a variety of texts, ways of approaching texts, and means of processing texts – can elevate pre-service teachers’ understanding of literature and the world around them, and thus, their ability to teach their future students from a critical literacy perspective. In this qualitative study of the teaching and learning of critical literacy in an Introduction to Adolescent Literature teacher education course, we illustrate how the pairing of literary theory and young adult literature can provide pre-service teachers the tools for questioning texts and larger societal issues with their future students. This study has practical implications for the field of teacher education in the way literature courses for pre-service teachers are designed and conceptualized.

Journal Title

Action in Teacher Education