Critical Literacy and New Technologies.Report as inadecuate

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Increasingly in Australia, attention is being given in English or language education to core or functional literacy conceived as print mastery, alongside literature, and critical literacy. The Queensland Years 1 to 10 English syllabus evinces an attempt to organize such qualitatively distinct "literacies" under a burgeoning conceptual and theoretical umbrella. The result is a syllabus which many regard as "unwieldy, if not incoherent, bursting at the seams, and often palpably unsuccessful" at the level of classroom implementation. This paper considers a different approach to understanding literacy in general and critical literacy in particular. This approach aims to transcend the earlier kind of compartmentalized view and develops a sociocultural view of literacy as necessarily involving three dimensions: "operational,""cultural," and "critical." According to the paper, an integrated view of literacy in practice and in pedagogy addresses all three dimensions simultaneously; none has any priority. The paper describes and discusses the three dimensions in detail. It outlines the elements of a framework for critical literacy and relates them to some examples encountered around Brisbane of young people exploring new technological literacies in varied settings. Examples in the paper involve school students and young adults who worked within a community-based space called GRUNT during 1995-97. The paper concludes by envisaging possibilities for a critical literacy pedagogy built around the use of new technologies. (Contains 33 references.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Communications, Elementary Secondary Education, English Curriculum, English Instruction, Foreign Countries, Instructional Innovation, Models, Technology Integration

Author: Lankshear, Colin; Knobel, Michele



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