Spring 5-8-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Stephanie Reid

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Rachel Lloyd

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Alena Hyams


The research question addressed in this study was, in what ways does the implementation of critical literacy impact the moral reasoning of adolescents? It documents one teacher’s use of action research to create a unit that integrated critical literacy methods based on the research of McLaughlin & DeVoogd with moral education methods based on research by Kohlberg. The author documents details of the unit and uses related research literature to construct meaning and validate the study. She describes the effectiveness of each critical literacy activity in terms of the impact it had on the moral reasoning of her students and provides some suggestions for improvements when necessary. She also analyzes responses to moral dilemmas before and after the unit to illustrate the changes that resulted from the unit. The study concludes that the implementation of critical literacy: 1) impacts the moral traits valued by students; 2) results in an increased student awareness of the complexity of moral dilemmas; 3) does not have a significant impact on the moral level of students when implemented for eight weeks or less.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Curriculum Development


Character Education, Curriculum, Literacy

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