Fostering Critical Consciousness in Young People: Encouraging the Doves to Find Their Voices

Christopher S. Fegley, Holly Angelique, Ken Cunningham

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This paper examines how youth participation in different community settings can foster critical consciousness. A group of 22 teens and pre-teens chose to participate in one of two groups. One group learned to play chess at a local community center and a second group participated in a community service project. Drawing upon Freire’s (1970) theory of consciousness-raising, we developed a critical thinking and consciousness-raising checklist that includes the exploration of personal behaviors, self-efficacy, group efficacy and stereotypes. Open-ended critical thinking focus groups were administered at the start and at the end of the five week period to assess the level of critical thinking of each group. The discussions were analyzed according to four themes: personal behavior, self efficacy, group efficacy, and challenging stereotypes. In general, participants in both groups showed evidence of increased critical thinking skills and an increased sense of community over the five week period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-27
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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