Critical Literacy for Older Adults: Engaging (and Resisting) Transformative Education as a United Methodist Woman

Janet Bean


This article explores the critical literacy practices of a conservative, Christian woman as she engages in a church-sponsored reading program. Her story provides an opportunity to interrogate dominant cultural narratives that situate faith in conflict with critical consciousness and to expand our understanding of attitude change in older adults. I examine the cultural and religious contexts of her literacy, as well as the rhetorical practices that allow her to enter into dialogue with challenging texts. Ultimately, I argue for a more expansive view of critical literacy that takes into account the nonacademic settings where it occurs and the importance of transformative process.


critical literacy; faith; older adults; religion; transformative education

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