Critical Literacy: Bringing Theory to Praxis

Elizabeth Bishop

Abstract


This article takes an activist approach to the discussion of critical literacy in theory and in praxis. Critical literacy has long been considered a powerful schema for critical pedagogical pursuits both inside and outside of schools. First, I address the need to negotiate the language around literacy for activist educational pursuits. I then move to define critical literacy, tracing the history of the topic through its theoretical and practical morphology. Finally, I address contemporary examples of critical literacy research, highlighting the limitations of school-based approaches and proffering actionable elements of critical literacy praxis beyond the boundaries of formal educational contexts. In the end, I recommend conceiving of critical literacy as a learning theory to be applied to the study of youth social and political activist organizing outside of schools.


Keywords


critical literacy, activist research, praxis

Full Text:

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing, and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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