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This critical exposition challenges three binary oppositions within literacy education in Australian primary schools from the 1950s to the present: the skills-­‐‑based versus whole language debate, the exclusively print-based approach versus multiliteracies, and the opposition between cultural heritage and critical literacy models. The six literacy approaches are briefly described, and significant criticisms raised by their detractors are argued with justification of claims. The tensions raised by each binary opposition are reconciled and reframed. The article concludes with a call for pedagogical transformation to meet the constantly changing technologically, culturally and linguistically diverse textual practices required in the twenty-­first century


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access