Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Perceptions of Literacy and the "Literacy Crisis"

I've long thought there's a literacy crisis - or at least a writing crisis.  After reading Gee, though, I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is a "crisis," or if instead my own perceptions of writing are simply coloring the ways in which I see people "succeeding" according to my own personal expectations.

In reading the chapters by Gee, I'm struck by how often literacy is simply portrayed based on "convenience" rather than according to actual attempts to understand how it's used and what that means for those using it.  The example of Plato using his own critiques of literacy in order to politically undermine rhetoricians is one I've been familiar with, but the more recent national studies which have ignored the obvious effects of social status and race are very troubling when it comes to understanding how approaches to literacy are (not) being taken up by policy makers.

Part of the problem which Gee has pointed out is the fact that people don't look at literacy from the "functional" perspective of how people use it - instead, like Plato, they tend to look at it as a way of conveying the "right" ideologies, where "rightness" is always in the eye of those who have the political power to produce privileged texts.  Within our own society, we easily see how writers like Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King are downgraded in comparison to authors like Joyce and Fitzgerald (I mean, compared to those authors who need no first name...) - worse, though, are the implications wherein writing itself is seen as a secondary and unrelated process in the ways that students learn math, science, and all those other "important" fields.

I think that a major part of the problem stems from the modernist bias we still see in general society.  Although postmodernism and relativism might devalue interpretation by permitting all interpretations, our modernist approaches to knowledge lead people to value content and literal interpretion over the acceptance that all knowledge is contextual.  Hence, most people in power ignore how African Americans (or any other minority group) take up texts, and instead only look for whether those interpretations match the "right" ways of interpreting texts.

Unfortunately, I don't see a good way to address this bias in society.  I mean, we could conduct some kind of "shaming" ritual where we take politicians aside and find out how they have their own children educated, but I don't know that this would really change anything in terms of how people understand literacy.  If Gee's assertions are correct regarding how limited people are in terms of "reading to learn," then it's unlikely that "the masses" would be unable to fully perceive the implications of ethnographic approaches to literacy - namely, that texts are contextual, and that we cannot teach text production if we are limited our students to universally "basic" skills.
For Updates, "Like" me on Facebook!


12Writing: My Creative Writing Website

29 comments:

  1. Truyen ngon tinh hay la the loai truyen tinh cam
    Truyen teen hay la nhung truyen tinh yeu tuoi teen
    Don doc tai trang doc truyen online.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

    Discover our website bounty of free online games now!
    Our website has the biggest collection of free online games. Totally new games are added every day!

    age of War | gold Miner| unfair Mario | cubefield| tanki Online

    ReplyDelete
  3. The blog or and best that is extremely useful to keep I can share the ideas. Age Of War 2
    Big Farm | Slitherio | Tank Trouble
    Of the future as this is really what I was looking for, I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much.
    Happy Wheels | Goodgeme Empire | Slither.io


    ReplyDelete
  4. This blog is so nice to me. I will continue to come here again and again. Visit my link as well. Good luck
    http://www.jualobataborsiherbal.com/ obat aborsi
    http://caramenggugurkankandungan.info/ cara menggugurkan kandungan
    http://www.jualobataborsiherbal.com/cara-menggugurkan-kandungan/ cara menggugurkan kandungan
    http://obataborsi59.com/ obat aborsi
    http://obataborsi59.com/cara-menggugurkan-kandungan-dengan-cepat-dan-aman/ cara menggugurkan kandungan
    http://obattelatdatangbulan.info/ obat telat datang bulan
    http://klinikobataborsi.com/ jual obat aborsi
    http://jualobatpenggugurkandungan.net/ obat penggugur kandungan
    http://tandatandakehamilan.net/ tanda tanda kehamilan
    http://tandatandakehamilan.net/cara-cepat-dan-selamat-menggugurkan-kandungan/ cara menggugurkan kandungan

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not all are true. Everyone has their own way of thinking but I think they have to reconsider. I like to argue for the most accurate results.
    fivenightsatfreddysplay.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. a pride for me to be able to discuss on a quality website because I just learned to make an article on
    cara menggugurkan kandungan

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tanaman Obat Jantung Bengkak Jantung bengkak atau kardiomegali merupakan suatu kondisi pembesaran ukuran jantung akibat gangguan tertentu yang menyebabkan jantung bekerja lebih berat dibandingkan normal.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I absolutely love public speaking. It used to scare me, but back in middle school I was in a poetry club. We read our work to the school at assemblies and events, so I got used to it after a while. Once I got over being afraid it was a lot of fun to do. Tanaman Obat Telinga Berdengung

    Now I wish I had a chance to speak in public more often, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this blog again soon. Tanaman Obat Jantung Bengkak

    ReplyDelete
  10. Writers Fort is a content writing Services Company and content writing Marketplace worldwide. If you need to any copywriting Service, contact us

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on Google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Exceptionally useful post! There is a considerable measure of data here that can enable any business to begin with a fruitful long range informal communication campaign! If you want to learn more about Online Marketing you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing excellent information. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  15. That was a great and comprehensive article…all the tips enumerated and explained will be helpful for those who are wise enough to tap from it. Any business nowadays without social media signals and presence may not make it to the outermost, and investment too is part of the key to success in business. Keep up the good work. If you want to learn more about Seo Marketing, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  16. Considerably, the story is in reality the greatest on this noteworthy topic. I agree with your conclusions and will eagerly watch forward to your next updates. Saying nice one will not just be sufficient, for the wonderful clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  18. Needed to compose you a tiny note to finally thank you very much yet again for your personal splendid methods you have discussed above. It is strangely open-handed with people like you to provide publicly all that a number of people would have marketed as an electronic book to generate some bucks for their own end, primarily now that you could possibly have tried it if you ever wanted. These inspiring ideas likewise acted like a fantastic way to know that the rest have the same dreams really like my personal own to see a whole lot more concerning this problem. I’m sure there are thousands of more enjoyable times in the future for many who check out your blog. If you want to learn more about Modern Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  19. That was a great and comprehensive article…all the tips enumerated and explained will be helpful for those who are wise enough to tap from it. Any business nowadays without social media signals and presence may not make it to the outermost, and investment too is part of the key to success in business. Keep up the good work. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete
  20. It is vital in these days to have a social media presence. Many businesses overlook this necessity for future growth. It may be more important than putting in more funding. Pricing properly is key, of course. But investing more is not always the best option. Sometimes it’s better to cut unnecessary costs. If you want to learn more about Online Marketing Seo, you visit now

    ReplyDelete