This study seeks to theorize and contextualize what happened in an undergraduate senior capstone course focusing on cultural literacy and critical pedagogy. Through our analysis and critical dialogue we came to recognize that while each cultural literacy circle reported positive outcomes, and positive feelings from group members about how they felt participating in the circles, only one group took action in a material way meant to explicitly combat oppression. Nearly every group talked about oppression and the struggle for justice, but ultimately their work remained at the level of discourse. They thought about oppression, talked and read about oppression, but their work as cultural literacy circles, with one exception, did not lead to concerted efforts to make an intervention in the historical reality their group focused on. We conclude with implications of these outcomes for others whose courses center critical pedagogy as both a topic of study as well as a pedagogical approach.



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