Approaches to Literacy

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Approaches to Literacy by Mind Map: Approaches to Literacy

1. New Literacy Studies

1.1. Focuses on everyday life

1.2. Literacy as social practice

1.3. Literacy events

1.4. Literacy is grounded in authentic practice

1.5. Literacy is cultural, political, historical

2. Literacy and Digital Technology

2.1. Literacy develops as technology grows

2.2. Both synchronous and asynchronous

2.3. Develops through social media, digital media, social networking, etc.

2.4. Encourages and develops globalization

2.5. Students can be "digitally literate" in many ways separate from school

3. Critical Literacy

3.1. Literacy should be focused on critical consciousness

3.2. Literacy is both ideological and political

3.3. Meaningful learning occurs through discourse

3.4. Can often be associated with issues such as struggle and liberation

3.5. Learners are text producers and analysts both in and out of school

4. Sociocultural Theory

4.1. Literacy is based on cultural mediation, historical development, and practical activity

4.2. Zone of proximal development

4.3. Engage in social community as a basis for literacy and development

4.4. Relies on guided participation in social settings


5.1. It's important for teachers to view themselves as readers and writers.

5.2. Teachers are resource managers and design consultants

5.3. View literacy in the context of things that we read and write everyday

5.4. Teachers should encourage dialogue with students and partner with them in learning

5.5. Ensure that students have access to a variety of meaningful literary texts

5.6. Teachers must support students as text creators and consumers in digital media

5.7. Encourage social and literacy development through learning design such as small groups

5.8. Teachers must encourage students to use digital media in academic and professional uses

5.9. Respect students' prior knowledge and use it as a building block

5.10. Provide scaffolding for learning just outside of the reach of students


6.1. Students may be assumed to be "digital natives" but they must work to understand how technology can be used in a variety of contexts.

6.2. Engage in a variety of social and cultural experiences to broaden literacy

6.3. Engage in communities to promote thorough development

6.4. Students are code breakers, meaning makers, text users, and text critics

6.5. Students must be literary designers, mediators, brokers, and jammers.

6.6. Be active in apprenticeship and engage in social learning


7.1. Texts are the function of everyday life. Textbooks in school are no less important than grocery lists or road signs.

7.2. Texts should reflect social and political contexts and work to empower and enlighten

7.3. Texts can serve as both communication and community

7.4. Texts extend literacy and give students access to global entities

7.5. Texts are used to assist students who are engaging in communities


8.1. Scribner and Cole established the theory of New Literacy with their 1980's study of Vai Literacy. According to Scribner and Cole, psychology was too heavily emphasized and social and cultural implications were emphasized enough in literacy.

8.2. Paulo Freire originated the idea of critical theory through his adult literacy classes in Brazil. Freire aimed to foster student empowerment and creativity through literacy. Other theorists have expounded on and changed this approach in more recent years.

8.3. Lankshear and Knobel consider literacy developing as social, cultural, economic, etc. particularly in light of the development of the digital age and the media that was spawned out of it.

8.4. Cole and others define literacy as culturally focused and based out of the social cognition of all human beings. Literacy is not limited to education but occurs in all social contexts.