Changing View of Literacy

When people ask me what writing course I’m taking (since I’m in the engineering school I only have to take one) and I tell them it is ‘Uses of Literacy’, their response is usually along the lines of, “The uses of literacy? There’re like two: reading and writing, right? How can you have an entire class on such as simple topic?”. Before this class, I would have probably said the same thing. But now, towards the end of things, I have a completely, utterly different view on this class, and literacy as a whole.

My question is this: How much has your understanding of literacy changed since you started this class, and in what ways have specific authors shaped your view of literacy throughout the course?

2 thoughts on “Changing View of Literacy”

  1. I share a similar sentiment as you do, probably because of our similar backgrounds. Initially I thought that literacy was simply reading and writing but I quickly learned that it was so much more. What I can say is that I have found a new respect for literacy and its practices. I think one of the most important takeaways for me has been with respect to the different standards of literacy and how the can change contextually. The authors from which I gained this insight was from Akinnaso and Resnick and Resnick. I noticed that my way of thinking has also changed a bit from being in this class and that way of thinking has expanded beyond just The Uses of Literacy

  2. It may be surprising but even as an English major I was set on only two “uses of literacy” myself. As I put the class into my enrollment cart I was skeptical about the course having a full and compelling syllabus. I recall telling my roommate that “this class is supposedly related to education but I have no idea what we are going to talk about!” However like yourself this class has opened up my eyes– now I see the topic of literacy covers much more than just reading and writing text. Readings such as Scribner’s “Literacy as Three Metaphors” and Brandt’s Sponsor of literacy shed a light on unnoticed purposes of literacy. Reading about topics like the “code-meshing” and the role of culture in the classroom related a lot to the work I hope to do in the future. Personally the course’s class discussions, where we shared stories of literacy across the nation, helped to better prepare to me as a future teacher; now that I have a better idea of the diversity in literacy today I can mentally ‘get ready’ to serve a diverse classroom. Just like “jleja” shared in his comment this class has changed the way I think things.

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