Critical-Literacy Education: “The Supremely Educational Event”

  • Peter Freebody
Living reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)


This chapter outlines how historians, linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, and educators have contributed in various ways to the study and practice of “critical-literacy education” (CLE). CLE is a project aimed at integrating knowledge about literacy into an analysis of power-in-action and knowledge about power into an analysis of texts-in-action. Summarized here are CLE efforts to have individuals and communities understand more fully their current contexts, their histories, and how they, particularly those traditionally not well served by current ways of teaching literacy in school, may take more productive part in enhancing their societies. One conclusion is that these goals are best pursued through deeper understandings of texts, the social practices they help to shape, and the social relations those practices build and sustain.


critical literacy anthropology applied linguistics psychology sociology power relations 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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