Creating Critical Classrooms: Reading and Writing with an Edge, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Creating Critical Classrooms

Reading and Writing with an Edge, 2nd Edition

By Mitzi Lewison, Christine Leland, Jerome C. Harste


286 pages

Look Inside Companion Website
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pub: 2014-08-22
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This popular text articulates a powerful theory of critical literacy—in all its complexity. Critical literacy practices encourage students to use language to question the everyday world, interrogate the relationship between language and power, analyze popular culture and media, understand how power relationships are socially constructed, and consider actions that can be taken to promote social justice. By providing both a model for critical literacy instruction and many examples of how critical practices can be enacted in daily school life in elementary and middle school classrooms, Creating Critical Classrooms meets a huge need for a practical, theoretically based text on this topic.

Pedagogical features in each chapter

• Teacher-researcher Vignette

• Theories that Inform Practice

• Critical Literacy Chart

• Thought Piece

• Invitations for Disruption

• Lingering Questions

New in the Second Edition

• End-of-chapter "Voices from the Field"

• More upper elementary-grade examples

• New text sets drawn from "Classroom Resources"

• Streamlined, restructured, revised, and updated throughout

• Expanded Companion Website now includes annotated Classroom Resources; Text Sets; Resources by Chapter; Invitations for Students; Literacy Strategies; Additional Resources


"Creating Critical Classrooms is one of those rare finds. It has the perfect balance of theory—in ways that preservice teachers can understand—along with real ways to "do" theory in classrooms with children."

Lisa Scherff, Florida State University, USA

"As immorality and insanity continue to permeate the world of education, and the world in general, Creating Critical Classrooms will become an increasingly vital and crucial text in helping learners, teachers, and citizens understand and analyze the material forces at work in society while also connecting that intellectual work to the much needed interventions required to carry out positive structural transformations on pathways toward creating more humanized and humanizing systems and institutions…before it is too late."

Doug Morris, Eastern New Mexico University, USA

Table of Contents

Brief Contents

Foreword / Linda Christensen


Chapter One / Overview: Why Do We Need an Instructional Theory of Critical Literacy?

Chapter Two / Personal and Cultural Resources: Using Life Experiences as an Entrée into Critical Literacy

Chapter Three / Cultural Resources: Using Popular Culture to Promote Critical Practice

Chapter Four / Cultural Resources: Using Children’s and Young Adult Literature to Get Started with Critical Literacy

Chapter Five / Critical Social Practices: Disrupting the Commonplace through Critical Language Study

Chapter Six / Critical Social Practices: Interrogating Multiple Perspectives

Chapter Seven / Critical Social Practices: Focusing on the Sociopolitical

Chapter Eight / Critical Social Practices: Taking Action to Promote Social Justice

Chapter Nine / Taking a Critical Stance: Outgrowing Ourselves

Chapter Ten / Invitations for Students

Classroom Resources: Children’s Books, Videos, Songs, and Websites

Appendix: Creating Critical Classrooms Companion Website Contents

About the Authors



About the Authors

Mitzi Lewison is Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education in the School of Education at Indiana University-Bloomington, USA.

Christine Leland is Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education in the School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University, USA.

Jerome C. Harste is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Literacy, Language, and Culture, Indiana University-Bloomington, USA, where he held the distinction of being the first Armstrong Professor in Teacher Education.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics