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Critical Literacy

Critical Literacy
Context, Research, and Practice in the K-12 Classroom

January 2007 | 160 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"This is an excellent text. I particularly liked how the authors share examples of critical literacy throughout the book, especially with digital and multimedia texts."

—Peter McDermott, The Sage Colleges

"Through realistic discussion of how text shapes us and is shaped by us, Critical Literacy provides pre- and in-service teachers with concrete ways to engage in critical literacy practices with children from elementary through high school."

—Cheryl A. Kreutter, St. John Fisher College

…a unique, practical critical literacy text with concrete examples and theoretical tools for pre- and in-service teachers

Authors Lisa Patel Stevens and Thomas W. Bean explore the historical and political foundations of critical literacy and present a comprehensive examination of its uses for K-12 classroom practice.

Key Features:

  • Focuses on the nexus of critical literacy theory and practice through real classroom examples, vignettes, and conversations among teachers and teacher educators
  • Illustrates how critical literacy practices are enacted in the classroom at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Offers step-by-step teaching strategies for implementing critical literacy in K-12 classrooms at different paces, depending on existing curriculum

Intended Audience:

This is an excellent supplemental text for a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in education departments on how to teach reading and writing. This text will also appeal to instructors and students exploring issues of representation, linguistics, and critical deconstruction.

Foreword by Michele Knobel
Chapter 1: Redefining Literacy
Genealogy of the Critical: Paulo Freire

Defining Critical Literacy

Mrs. Cutter’s Class

Problematizing Classroom Applications of Critical Literacy

Chapter 2: Why We Need Critical Literacy: Dynamic Texts and Identity Formation
Literacy Proficiency and New Texts: A Moving Target

Texts, Attention, and Identity?

The Transformation of Texts and Readers’ Attention

Texts as Tools of Identity Formation

Texts: Mediating Identity and Culture

Chapter 3: Critical Literacy and Teacher Education
Teacher Identity

Risk, the Future, and Critical Literacy

Disrupting Education Discourses With Critical Literacy

Critical Media Literacy and Teacher Education

Resident Critic

Chapter 4: Critical Literacy at the Nexus of Praxis
Maintaining Critical Literacy as a Moving Target

Essential Features of Critical Literacy

Chapter 5: Praxis Point 1: Popular Culture, Fandom, and Boundaries
Snapshot 1: Critical Media Literacy and Social Studies

Reflection: Practice Informing Theory

Chapter 6: Praxis Point 2: Critical Numeracy Across the Curriculum
Snapshot 2: Critical Literacy Across the Curriculum

Reflection: Practice Informing Theory

Critical Literacy and the Institutional Context

Chapter 7: Praxis Point 3: Cycles of Deconstruction and Reconstruction
Setting the Context and Participants

Reflection: Practice Informing Theory

Assessing Critical Literacy

Reflections on Critical Literacy as Praxis

Chapter 8: Critical Literacy and Educational Policy Texts
What Is Policy?

Critical Policy Analysis

National Discourses

Moving From National to Local: Complex Connections

Chapter 9: Critical Policy Analysis in Local Contexts
Policy and Governmentality

Local Conversations

Transforming Policy Interactions

Educational Policy and Complexity Theory

Key features
The style of text is firmly situated in real classroom examples of critical literacy, vignettes that capture contemporary textual practices, and conversations among teachers and teacher educators working with the theories and concepts of critical literacy. This feature of the text accomplishes a multi-faceted approach to making the concepts and implementation of critical literacy to both new and more veteran graduate students.   

The book features suggested further readings and reflective questions for the practitioner to consider in learning about critical literacy. The suggested readings allow the book to maintain its introduction to critical literacy, while encouraging students to pursue further theoretical and research interests. 

Reflective questions are positioned to engage the reader with the complex nature of critical literacy, engage the reader actively with the text, and provide a potential discussion basis for class sessions organized around the book.  

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.