James Paul Gee
Invited Talk, IRA/NCTE Critical Literacy Task Force, TESOL, St. Louis
Publication year: 2001

Why is there any need to talk about “critical literacy”, rather than just “literacy” itself? The reason is this: The forms of literacy learned in school usually do not lead to the urge or ability to think “critically” in the sense of understanding how systems and institutions inter-relate to help and harm people. Therefore, it is worth thinking about what would constitute a “critical literacy”. In this paper I offer but one possible answer to the question, “What is critical literacy?”. I argue that critical literacy is a species of discourse analysis.