• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Offering an overview of the major fields in literacy studies, this book presents a detailed and accessible discussion of key theories and their relevance in the primary classroom.

Each chapter uses a real life case study to explore the application of theory in practice, followed by a detailed discussion of the case study material by a leading name in the field, including contributions from Barbara Comber, Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear, Gunther Kress, Brian Street, Kevin Leander and Patricia Enciso.

The text also offers reflections on theoretical foundations for research, exploring literacy as a practice grounded in social, cultural, historical and political contexts and in relationships of power.

This second edition includes: New chapters covering digital literacy, space and play, and multimodality; Examples and contributions from a range of international contexts, including US, UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa; Further reading links.

Essential reading for students at undergraduate and post-graduate level on primary education courses and an invaluable guide for anyone wanting to understand literacy theory and successfully apply this to the classroom.

Critical Literacy
Critical literacy

In this chapter, we provide an overview of the concept of critical literacy and outline how it can inform classroom practice. This is no simple task, because there is no singular, normative version of critical literacy. Rather, it is a concept that has been shaped by various theoretical paradigms over the years and formulated in practice in ways that are deeply contextualized and specifically situated. This means that providing a historical overview of its development is well nigh impossible. Nevertheless, we will, in this introductory section, trace critical literacy's origins in critical theory and pedagogy, and offer a brief review of other theoretical influences on its development.

Historical Ground

The concept of critical literacy, although rooted in the tenets of critical theory propounded by ...

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