Category Archives: literacy

Literacy

A small piece of a recent paper:

While much of the focus on literacy deals with the reading aspect on the literacy spectrum, transliteracy focuses on the full spectrum of literacy within an ecological system.  Transliteracy recognizes that there is a purpose for literacy.  What good is it if someone is only capable of consuming knowledge?  “We should not assume that someone posses … literacy if they can consume but not express themselves” (Jenkins, 2006, p. 170).

Literacy is a fundamental and necessary ingredient for democracy.  Moreover, literacy helps one achieve critical awareness and freedom.  While literacy is “not the equivalent of emancipation, it is in a more limited but essential way the precondition for engaging in struggles around both relations of meaning and relations of power.  To be literate is not to be free, it is to be present and active in the struggle for reclaiming one’s voice, history, and future” (Freire & Macedo, 1987, p. 11). Literacy is the road to freedom, and libraries line that road.

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Literacy Defined

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.

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