Development of critical literacy among primary students in Hong Kong: An inquiry of a Disney animated film

Wing Chiu CHAN

Research output: ThesisHonours Projects (HP)


This study examines a P.5 English class of vast cultural and ethnic backgrounds in Hong Kong and their development of critical literacy as they critically discuss the racial representations in Mulan, a Disney animated film which is often criticized for its racial stereotypes.
Representations in Disney animated films are often criticized for being overgeneralizing and stereotypical (McClure, 1998; England, Descartes & Collier-Meek, 2011; Cheung 2016). It is also theorized that Disney animated films attribute to the reproduction of stereotypes among their children audience (Giroux, 1997; Giroux, 1999; Giroux, 2004). Meanwhile, critical literacy is a form of literacy aimed at reading beyond textual level and it extending to the critical examination of the meanings within texts, and subsequently to the connection between the texts and readers’ personal experience in order to address inequality and injustice in gender, race, religion and the like (Freire, 1970; Kincheloe, 2005; Klenner & Sandretto, 2011).
This action research documents and analyzes the development of the students’ critical literacy throughout five lessons of having discussions and generating outputs relevant to Mulan. The collected data includes field notes, classroom observation, researcher’s journal entry, students’ outputs, reflections and records of discussions. These data were analyzed under the framework of Luke and Freebody’s four resource model to assess students’ development of critical literacy with the outcome that critical literacy is strongly developed among the general participants.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Education (Honours)
  • CHANG, Benjamin Johnson, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (English Language) (Five-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A5B059
  • Course code: TLS4029


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