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

  • Janet Bean University of Akron
Keywords: critical literacy, faith, older adults, religion, transformative education


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.

Author Biography

Janet Bean, University of Akron

Janet Bean is an Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of General Education at the University of Akron (Ohio). Her research interests include identity and writing pedagogy, assessment, and writing in the disciplines. Her work has appeared in Writing on the Edge, Journal of Teaching Writing, Composition Studies, and several edited collections.