Project description

As more and more interactions in everyday life are turned into data, biases in data-driven processes leading to discrimination and social inequalities become more critical. Critical DataLit extends current citizenship education by generating a social justice-oriented approach to data literacy, using creative practices with youth aged 11 to 17 in various learning environments such as schools, makerspaces and fablabs and youth centers.

Critical DataLit aims to advance current research and practice by:

  • Generating knowledge based on empirical evidence about the ways in which teenagers understand and relate to data and social justice.
  • Producing methods and guidelines for supporting youth’s critical data literacies using creative and participatory approaches.
  • Promoting public awareness on datafication and the impact of such practices on youth’s lives.

From a theoretical perspective, the project builds on existing research analyzing children’s protagonist role in technology systems and computational empowerment. Methodologically, Critical DataLit research actions use future-oriented methods to capture teenagers' imaginaries on the relation between social justice and data. The study adopts Participatory Action Research to support youth's civic engagement and proposes creative methods drawing from design fiction, speculative design, and critical making to support youth envisioning social justice-oriented data-driven systems. Critical DataLit outputs include a Framework for Critical Data Literacies and a Methods Toolkit to support social justice-oriented data literacies.

Critical DataLit is a four-year project (2023-2027) funded by the Finnish Research Council (decision n. 354445)

Research team at the Interact research unit

PI Academy postdoctoral researcher Eva Durall Gazulla

Doctoral researcher Najme Babai