Hey ho, here goes.
I suppose it’s no surprise that I became interested in literacy. I’ve been interested in making sense of the world ever since the world began, for me that’s 1967 (now the cat’s out of the bag), and later on how different people make sense of the world. My interest in literacies* stems from my family and working background in pubs and the hospitality industry and observing the meanings people attribute to reading, writing and oracy therein.
Although I am now an adult literacy tutor, this is very definitely a view of literacy as social practice (Street, 1984, Barton & Hamilton, 1998) as opposed to the traditional skills-based view. Understanding literacy as a social practice used in particular contexts for specific aims for me is very important, not only can it help to bring everyday life into educational contexts but it can help inform practitioners and policy-makers about aspects of motivation, new uses of literacy and/or technology and any difficulties that might be encountered.
What’s more, the advent of social media technologies has provoked new digital literacy practices, and this fascinates me greatly as they are embraced, shunned or treated with ambivalence by different people in different contexts. Whilst studying for an MA in Technology, Learning, Innovation and Change I started to perceive lecturers’ different dispositions towards adopting some of these new digital literacy practices and subsequently have begun to explore the context of Higher Education and digital literacies.
I hope to use this blog to ruminate, cogitate, grow, chuck in my two pence worth, showcase, signpost and share my excursions into literacy, digital or otherwise and always as a social practice. It is after all a Literacies Life.
* literacies being pluralised represents the fact that different individuals require different literacies in different contexts, which is different over time.
Barton, D. & Hamilton, M., 1998. Local Literacies: Reading and Writing in One Community 1st ed., Routledge.
Street, B.V., 1985. Literacy in Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press.