Friday, April 13, 2007

Can't You Read the Sign?

Literacy is not as simple of a subject as many might think. If you ask most people if one has to be able to read and write to be literate, they would probably reply, "Of course!" If you asked them if someone who could not read could be considered literate in that person's society, they would likely assume no. Yet if the language they speak has no written form, no one in the society would be considered literate under those terms.
I had not thought about defining literacy too much before this class. Yet Jerrie Cobb Scott in her article, "Literacies and Deficits Revisited," brings up some good points about how the way one defines literacy greatly influences how writing is taught. She makes a good point that being exclusive in such an important definition could exclude and hinder the teaching process (Scott 206).
Her suggestion and "challenge" of "deep restructuring of curricula" is also an excellent idea it seems (Scott 208). When one just changes the problems seen on the surface it is doubtful anything will have truly changed in a program and improvement is probably less likely. Also it makes sense that looking at the various aspects of the education system minutely is vital to making real and effective change (209). It is one thing for a teacher or student to make a complaint about process of education, but it is much more important to figure it why that particular problem is occurring. Hopefully, people in education will not assume a quick fix will do when the classrooms might require a total makeover.

Works Cited
Scott, Jerrie Cobb. "Literacies and Deficits Revisited." Landmark Essays on Basic Writing.
Landmark Essays. 18. Ed. Kay Halasek and Nels P. Highberg. Mahwah, NJ: Hermagoras P, 2001.

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