Monday, June 9, 2008

i'm in a ranting kind of mood...can you tell??

okay, so here is my issue with this whole "literacies" thing. it seems to me that we are, in some cases, blurring the lines between literacy and skills. let me illustrate my point for you: Are these all literacies or are they skills? 1. knowing how to read a book. 2. knowing how to navigate the internet. 3. knowing how to blog. 4. knowing how to drive a car. I don't know, it just seems to me that we want to call everything a literacy and i don't think that it is. thoughts??

1 comment:

Heather said...

I feel that the "literacies" construct is a little loose for me too. I have no problem with it being painted with a broad brush (tech and culture are integral!) but at what point are we defining literacies or simply communication skills? It seems to me that there is a distinction that needs to be made. I feel the same thing happened in the study of rhetoric. Traditionally (Plato, Aristotle), rhetoric was political persuasion in the form of speech (oral or written). Then, when the study of rhetoric resurfaced in ernest (1960s), the definition began to expand to all political persuasion (cartoons, TV ads, movies). Now, rhetoric is being defined as any communication context, with an idea anyone may have about something in whatever form they choose to communicate it in that might involved a little bit of persuasion even if it is passive aggressive (Here's one I saw a few years ago: "The Wanderlust Rhetoric of Jimmy Buffett" ...seriously, I don't think Jimmy is defining "Last Mango in Paris" as a rhetorical act). Is this happening to Literacy? At what point does the definitions finally bud off into something else? One thing this trend does do leaves a lot of space for new new research. I'm just saying.