There have been many definitions of critical literacy. It has been viewed as a concept, a framework or perspective for teaching and learning, a way of being in the classroom, and a stance or attitude toward literacy work in schools. Different theoretical orientations have helped shape these different views. Despite the many points of view, a common understanding is that critical literacy focuses on unequal power relations—and issues of social justice and equity—in support of diverse learners. This entry provides an overview of critical literacy, including theories that have informed its practice.

Exploring Critical Literacy

Various theoretical paradigms have influenced definitions of critical literacy as well as informed its practice. These include feminism, queer theory, and post-structuralist theories as well as antiracist and multiculturalism literacy theories.

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