Critical Literacy And Multiliteracies By Paulo Frieres

Pages: 4 (974 words) Published: January 6, 2015


Critical Literacy and Multiliteracies
In 1970, Paulo Friere envisioned schools as critical spaces where students could be empowered to interrogate and question social circumstances through the use of discourse about issues of high interest and relevance to their lives (Dewey, 1910; Marzano, 2003; O’byrne, 2014). Educators, in this model, work with students to synthesize and critique power systems and dissect truths while facilitating classroom discourse. According to Friere, “knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the impatient, restless, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other” (Friere, 1970 , p. 72). Multiliteracies includes elements of critical literacy...

Specifically in the case of literacy, this is a process of reading and writing about the world in which literate citizens become ‘subjects’ or agents instead of the passive ‘objects’ of texts. In fact, literacy is not a matter of acquisition of technical communication skills. It is a process of learning how to make meanings that place individuals in the world, and that change the world (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012). Based on this aspect, critical literacies pedagogy does not focus on mechanical skills or learning facts or rules separated from their use. Rather, it involves students as social actors, raising questions of local or personal concern, or of wide and pressing human concern. It has learners identify problems and challenges of the moment in literacies study and across the curriculum. Furthermore, it addresses “difficult issues to which there may be no easy answers; which may be contentious; which may be political” (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012, p. 148). The aim of critical literacies, as Kalantzis and Cope (2012) argue, is to help learners understand the ways things are constructed in the world by people’s values and actions. In fact, the assumption of critical literacies is that the world of learning is not simply a series of rules to be obeyed, facts to be learned and knowledge authorities to be followed. A critically literate person “identifies relevant and...

Sometimes this version of critical literacy is named ‘postmodern education’, bringing a rich heterogeneity of student voices into the classroom and validating popular ways of speaking and identities. In this type of education, students determine which meanings are important to them and the curriculum starts with these. In fact, critical literacy creates a space for modes of expression that have historically been suppressed and devalued. Aronowitz and Giroux (1991) call this a ‘border pedagogy’, which confirms and critically engages the knowledge and experiences through which students express their own voices and construct identities. According to Aronowitz and Giroux (1991), this kind of critical literacy also requires at times a certain kind of inward-looking about one’s own stances and attitudes towards the different ‘other’: students who are disabled, or of a different sexual orientation , or of a different ethnic or racial...
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