One of my doctoral classes is on literacy. The class has really helped me redefine my understanding of what it means to be literate and the purpose for being literate. When I entered the class I defined literacy as the ability to read and write. Over the first few readings I defined literacy as the ability to understand abstract symbols of though. Well that’s all changed.
I now define literacy as “The ability to create, express, participate or interpret abstract representations of knowledge or thought so that one may more fully participate in the society, community, legacy or political system in which they reside.” It was in trying to understand the purpose of being literate that helped me redefine the term. The reason for being literate is so that one can participate.