Why Now?

Many of you may be wondering: “Why the sudden interest in critical literacy?”

The answer to that question is easy…Why not?

Our world is changing and evolving at an extraordinary rate. We now live in an increasingly diverse, globalized, and complex, media-saturated society. The advent of the Internet has, over the past decade, provided a common platform upon which people and countries from all over the Earth are able to communicate and share information. Every day, students from countries all over the world collaborate on important projects and issues. The web site, ePals, is a site where teachers and students can go to join or start a collaborative project with people all over the globe.  

Our world is being transformed and will continue to change at ever-increasing rates. In order for our students to be prepared to navigate this 21st century world, they must become literate in 21st century literacies and that includes, but is not limited to, critical, multicultural, emotional, environmental, and media literacies.

Our students are facing many emerging issues such as global warming, famine, poverty, health issues, a global population explosion and other environmental and social issues.  These issues lead to a need for students to be able to communicate, function and create change personally, socially, economically and politically on local, national, and global levels. Students need to be able to think critically and to use knowledge and information to make decisions. The growth of the Internet has made critical literacy vital in a global community.

The 21st century has enabled a high level of collaboration to take place. Collaborating with students from around the world in meaningful ways is a necessary tool for developing critical literacy. Students can learn that through collaboration, not competition, they can work together to make the world a better place. Students can use a vast array of technologies, including the Internet, and global collaboration to analyze, critique, and discuss critical issues.