This essay argues for a paradigm shift in what counts as learning and literacy education for youth. Two related constructs are emphasized: collective Third Space and sociocritical literacy. The construct of a collective Third Space builds on an existing body of research and can be viewed as a particular kind of zone of proximal development. The perspective taken here challenges some current definitions of the zone of proximal development. A sociocritical literacy historicizes everyday and institutional literacy practices and texts and reframes them as powerful tools oriented toward critical social thought. The theoretical constructs described in this article derive from an empirical case study of the Migrant Student Leadership Institute (MSLI) at the University of California, Los Angeles. Within the learning ecology of the MSLI, a collective Third Space is interactional^ constituted, in which traditional conceptions of academic literacy and
instruction for students from nondominant communities are contested and replaced with forms of literacy that privilege and are contingent upon students' sociohistorical lives, both proximally and distally. Within the MSLI, hybrid language practices; the conscious use of social theory, play, and imagination; and historicizing literacy practices link the past, the present, and an imagined future.