Critical DataLit: Cultivating justice-oriented data literacies among GenZ

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 builds on the assumption that data literacies should be interlinked with social justice as a strategy to cultivate critical analysis and reflection, as well as action against discrimination and violence.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Research Council of Finland

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

Critical DataLit extends current digital citizenship education by proposing a social justice-oriented approach to data literacy using creative practices with children aged 11 to 17 in various learning environments such as schools, fablabs and makerspaces, and youth centers. The research aligns with calls for embracing approaches to foster children's data literacies that enable genuine participation of all children. Critical DataLit’s creative practices build on narrative methods such as design fiction and speculative design for broadening participation and promoting data pedagogies that engage non-technical learners, as well.

Project actions

The research starts by inquiring children and their families and educators' imaginaries on social justice in data-driven environments. Future-oriented methods are used to collect evidence on children’s perceptions about datafication, as well as their fears and wishes regarding possible and probable futures. The project also uses a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to support children’s civic engagement through data explorations with civic society actors.

Project results

Critical DataLit will generate theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions for supporting children’s protagonist role in data-driven systems, providing recommendations to influence practice and policy. Research-based outputs such as the Critical DataLit Framework for cultivating social justice-oriented data literacies, as well the Critical DataLit Methods Toolkit will nurture further data literacies research and practice as part of digital citizenship education.