Chapter 20 Gold to Salto

Critical Literacy in a BELMA-Awarded Textbook in Norwegian Language Arts

In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020

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Abstract

In this chapter, we investigate to what extent and in what way the Norwegian textbook Salto 7 enables students aged 12–13 to adopt a critical text perspective. The textbook is chosen because it won the European BELMA-award for best learning material for students in the second half of primary and lower secondary education in 2018. The Norwegian curriculum emphasises that a critical view on texts is necessary. Outside school, children grow up in a digitalised world with a wealth of texts where many sources are not reliable. Our main findings are that Salto 7 to a large extent and in various ways informs and invites students to practice critical literacy. The textbook exposes students to a broad repertoire of genres, topics and authors, and engages them in these texts through a variety of tasks. Students’ progress goes from finding and reconstructing information to understanding and structuring information, to reflecting on and evaluating texts. In addition, students are encouraged to try out different learning strategies and reflect on texts both individually and in groups. Our analysis shows that Salto 7 may support students with tools they can use in their critical reading and writing inside and outside of school.

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