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In the southeastern region of the kingdom, the theory of critical literacy, Ana, was strongly supported by the people and the teachers. Ana was grounded in analysis and critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In Ana’s way of thinking, students had to have the tools to be able to take all forms of communication apart and be able to discern between good and bad information, be able to take what they need, and be able to communicate back in an informed manner. This, Ana believed, included all representations of communication from media to books to technology. This theory worked well until it was realized that too many foundational skills were being waylaid for the good of Ana. Standardized testing scores showed that students weren’t achieving grade level expectations at the analytical and interpretive levels, so Ana seemed perfect for the job. But when teachers and curriculum focused more on the problem areas, something else had to give; foundational mechanics of language and computation were all but lost. Then that made it all that much harder for the students to climb up to Ana’s level of thinking without the basics behind them. Ana stood strong, however. “Students in today’s world need to know how to communicate with others through many different ways. That’s the way the business world works, and that’s where they are headed, the real world. There is no better way to get ready for the real world than to live within it. They need to start as early as possible.” The eighth graders at Castleton Village thanked Ana for its theory. They noted that Ana lived within Castleton Village through the subject area of language arts especially but also in science and health, sometimes. “To be able to know the difference between credible and non-credible information is very important; we agree with that. But we can’t just jump to it. Like in language arts when we practice basic skills, then build them up on top of each other until we’re ready to apply them to real life is the way to go; it’s the only way we learn. You just can’t throw us into a complicated or abstract movie then expect us to know about metaphors and symbols unless we’ve practiced them beforehand.”


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