Course Schedule

Life is complicated; consequently, this schedule is subject to change. Any changes made to the schedule will be reflected below.

Week 2 (Jan 12 & 14): Why should we think about literacy?

Tues:    Intro to Course

Thurs:  Scribner, Sylvia. “Literacy in Three Metaphors,” American Journal of Education 93, no. 1 (1984): 6-21.
Write an introductory blog post to this site. <–NOW DUE FRIDAY, JAN 15 11:59pm because of technical difficulties with this site.
Discuss Literacy Log assignment and definitions of literacy (in class)

Week 3 (Jan 19 & 21): What is literacy?

Blogs: Group 1 posts by Mon night; Group 2 responds by Weds night.

Tues:    Gee, James Paul. “Literacy and the Literacy Myth,” Social Linguistics and Literacies. 22-45.
Brandt, Deborah. “Sponsors of Literacy” CCC 49.2, 165-185.

Thurs: Literacy Log (with reflection letter) due to Prof. Vee in class.
Discuss Literacy Narrative assignment

Week 4 (Jan 26 & 28): Personal literacy experiences

Blogs: Group 2 posts by Mon night; Group 1 responds by Weds night.

Tues:   Rose, Mike. “I Just Wanna Be Average,” Lives on the Boundary, 11-37.
Brandt, Deborah. “Remembering Reading, Remembering Writing.”
Akinnaso, F. Niyi. “Literacy and Individual Consciousness.”

Thurs: Literacy Narrative draft #1 due; workshop them in class.
Discuss Literacy interview assignment

Week 5 (Feb 2 & 4): Literacy and identity

Blogs: Group 1 posts by Mon night; Group 2 responds by Weds night.

Tues:    Delpit, Lisa. “Language Diversity and Learning,” Other People’s Children, 48-69.
Fishman, Andrea. “Becoming Literate: A Lesson from the Amish”

Thurs: Literacy Narrative draft #2 due to Prof. Vee (11:59pm on CourseWeb).

Week 6 (Feb 9 & 11): Lacking literacy

Blogs: Group 2 posts by Mon night; Group 1 responds by Weds night.

Tues:   Purcell-Gates, Victoria. “A World Without Print,” Literacy: A Critical Sourcebook 402-417 (Reprint from Other People’s Words).
Wolf, Maryanne. “The Beginnings of Reading Development, or Not.” Proust and the Squid, 81-107. National Assessment of Adult Literacy materials http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/

Thurs: Literacy interview draft #1 due; workshop in class

Week 7 (Feb 16 & 18): Literacy in history

Blogs: Group 1 posts by Mon night; Group 2 responds by Weds night

Tues:    Resnick, Daniel P. and Lauren Resnick. “The Nature of Literacy: An Historical Exploration,” 370-385.
Brandt, Deborah. “When Everybody Writes,” The Rise of Writing: Redefining Mass Literacy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 135-158.
Vincent, David. “The Rise of Mass Literacy,” in The Rise of Mass Literacy, 1-26.

Thurs: Literacy interview draft #2 due to Prof. Vee on CourseWeb (11:59pm)
Holly Keene (former Uses of Literacy student and current literacy worker) visits
Discuss “What is Literacy?” essay

Week 8 (Feb 23 & 25): Literacy and citizenship

Blogs: Group 2 posts by Mon night; Group 1 responds by Weds night.

Tues:    Vieira, Kate. “American by Paper.”
NeCamp, Samantha. “Literacy, Crisis, and Educational Responses,” Adult Literacy and American Identity, Southern IL Univ Press, 2014.
Chapter from Stevens, Literacy, Law and Social Order
Materials from the US Citizenship test website: http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test

Thurs: Draft #1 of “What is Literacy?” essay due; workshop in class
Sign up for Midterm conferences, to be held in Prof. Vee’s office the week of Feb 29.

MIDTERM BLOG PORTFOLIO DUE ONLINE 11:59PM.

Week 9 (Mar 1 & 3): Literacy in communities

Blogs: Group 1 posts by Mon night; Group 2 responds by Weds night.

Tues:    Gere, Anne Ruggles. “Kitchen Tables and Rented Rooms: The Extracurriculum of Literacy.”
Moss, Beverley. “’Phenomenal Women,” Collaborative Literacies, and Community Texts in Alternative “Sista” Spaces. Community Literacy Journal (Fall 2010): 1-24.

Thurs: Discuss Literacy in Context essay.

MIDTERM PORTFOLIO DUE IN CLASS (or due Mar 15 in class, due to assignment extension). (Includes Draft #2 of “What is Literacy? essay”)

SPRING BREAK: March 7-11

Week 10 (Mar 15 & 17): Struggles for literacy

Blogs: Group 2 posts by Mon night; Group 1 responds by Weds night.

Tues:    Lu, Min-Zhan. “From Silence to Words: Writing as Struggle.” College English 49.4 (1987): 437-448.
Cornelious, Janet. “Slave Testimony: We slipped and learned to read,” When I can read my title clear
LAST DAY TO TURN IN MIDTERM PORTFOLIO, IN CLASS

Thurs: Literacy in Context essay Draft #1 due; workshop in class.
Discuss Literacy Remixed project

Week 11 (Mar 22 & 24): K-12 Literacy education

Blogs: Group 1 posts by Mon night; Group 2 responds by Weds night.

Tues:   Mizuko Ito, et al. Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/files/report/digitalyouth-WhitePaper.pdf
Joanne Addison, “Shifting the Locus of Control: Why the Common Core State Standards and Emerging Standardized Tests May Reshape College Writing Classrooms” Journal of Writing Assessment Vol 8, Issue 1, 2015: http://journalofwritingassessment.org/article.php?article=82

Thurs: Literacy in Context essay, Draft #2 due online to Prof. Vee (CourseWeb, 11:59pm)
Audio workshop [Audacity]

Week 12 (Mar 29 & 31): Literacy technologies

Blogs: Group 2 posts by Mon night; Group 1 responds by Weds night.

Tues:   Baron, Denis. “From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies,” Passions, Pedagogies, and 21st Century Technologies, 15-33.
Vee, Annette. “Understanding Computer Programming as a Literacy,” Literacy in Composition Studies 1.2, 2013. http://licsjournal.org/OJS/index.php/LiCS/article/view/24
Optional: Hayles, NK. “Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes.” Profession 2007: 187-199.

Thurs: Literacy remixed project Draft #1 due; workshop in class.
Discuss Literacy Challenges Essay and presentations

Week 13 (Apr 5 & 7): Language, Literacy, Code Meshing

Blogs: Group 1 posts by Mon night; Group 2 responds by Weds night.

Tues:   Vershawn Ashanti Young, “Should Writers Use They Own English?” Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies 12 (2010): 110-117.
For context: Read this NYTimes blog post, “What Should Colleges Teach [Part 3],” by Stanley Fish; it’s what Vershawn Young is responding to. And for reference, here’s the first part and second part of Fish’s post.
Also for context: Read the “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” [pdf link on that page] issued by the Conference on College Composition and Communication in 1974.
Optional: Sheils, M. “Why Johnny Can’t Write.” (1975). Newsweek. (available on CourseWeb)
Trimbur, John. “Revisiting Literacy and the Discourse of Crisis in the Era of Neoliberalism,” in Strategic Discourse: The Politics of (New) Literacy Crises, ed. Lynn Lewis. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press (2015): http://ccdigitalpress.org/strategic/afterword.html

Discuss Final Portfolio & Final Blog Portfolio assignments.

Thurs: Prof. Vee is gone for a conference; Meet with your literacy research groups.

Sunday, April 10: Literacy remixed project Draft #2 due to Prof. Vee (CourseWeb, 11:59pm)

Week 14 (Apr 12 & 14): Wrap-up

Blogs: Group 2 posts by Mon night; Group 1 responds by Weds night. (you can post on anything related to literacy.)

Tues: Final presentation groups get together to workshop Literacy Challenges Essay, draft #1

Thurs: Show literacy remixed projects in class

Week 15 (Apr 19 & 21): Final presentations

Tues: Literacy Challenges Essay, draft #2 due on CourseWeb

Tues & Thurs will be final group presentations about literacy.

Friday, April 22: Turn in your Final Blog Portfolio and your Literacy Challenges Essays, on CourseWeb (or you can turn in your blog portfolio online). 

Friday, Apr 21 22, 11:59pm: FINAL BLOG PORTFOLIO due via CourseWeb.

Friday, Apr 28 29, 9-1pm in Prof. Vee’s office, 628C CL: FINAL PORTFOLIO due.


Class Projects and Portfolios

You will draft, workshop and submit individual projects throughout the term. I will comment on these projects individually, but I will not until they are submitted in your portfolio. You will submit two portfolios for the course: the first at midterm and the second will be submitted at the end of the term, in lieu of a final.

The Midterm Portfolio will be introduced with a 750 word cover letter describing its contents and how they reflect your concepts of literacy and your own literate development over the semester. Following the cover letter, it will also include:

  1. Literacy Log and reflection letter
  2. Literacy Narrative
  3. Literacy Interview
  4. “What is Literacy” essay

The Final Portfolio will be introduced with a 750 word cover letter describing its contents and how they reflect your concepts of literacy and your own literate development over the semester. Following the cover letter, it will also include:

  1. Literacy in Context essay
  2. “Literacy Remixed” project
  3. “What is Literacy” essay, substantially revised
  4. Group literacy research project and reflection

 

Your Blog Portfolios will contain unrevised blog posts and responses, plus your reflection on your blogging.

They will be introduced with a 250-500 word cover letter in which you reflect on your blogging in addition to analyzing a blogger you admire. The portfolio will consist of FOUR items:

  1. One post
  2. One response
  3. Two posts or responses (your choice)

 

Portfolio assignments

Detailed assignment sheets will be handed out when each of the assignments are introduced in class. To give you a sense of the course and scope of work you will do, however, a brief explanation for each assignment follows below.

Literacy Log

We swim in a world of print and symbols, often unaware of the literacy skills we must muster for everyday activities. For one day, you will log all of the literacy events you participate in. You may record using an audio recorder, Twitter, a paper notebook, your smartphone or anything that’s convenient for you. You will turn in an edited, typewritten printout of your literacy log, along with a 250-500 word reflection on your log.

Literacy Narrative

Are you literate? What does that mean? How did you get there? Who are the people who helped you become literate? What particular literacy events stand out to you from your life? Taking cues from our readings by Rose and Akinnaso, write a 750-1250 word narrative detailing several moments in your literacy history.

Literacy Interview

Now that you’ve thought more about your own literacy history, how does it compare with the literacy history of others? Following the examples of Brandt and Heath, interview (and audio-record) one person who has a background significantly different from yours—they must be 10 years older or younger than you OR have grown up in a different country OR speak a different native language from your native language, etc. Weave your own reflections with the words of your interviewee into a 750-1500 word essay.

What is Literacy? essay

What is literacy? Literacy is a contested term, notoriously difficult to pin down and with huge political consequences resting on its definition. Using your own literate experience as well as the work from at least two literacy scholars discussed in class, you will answer the challenging question “What is literacy?” in a 750 word essay.

Literacy in Context essay

Most of the scholars you’ve read argue that literacy is always enacted in certain contexts and is best studied in context. This essay gives you the chance to do just that. Find a community that interests you—your favorite coffee shop, online forum, church group, Greek organization, etc.—and spend at least 2 hours intentionally observing the literacy practices and events of that group. How do they create and interpret texts? How do they work together or communicate as they do so? What kind of literacies are called upon by the physical environment in which they meet? Write a 1000-1500 word essay connecting your observations to the ideas of at least two scholars discussed in class.

Literacy Remixed project

Transform one of your essays into an audio, video, web-based or multimedia piece.

Group literacy research project

In this project, you will name one of the problems you see in literacy today: its uneven distribution; stigmatization of non-literates; rising standards of digital literacy; issues of literacy related to immigration; education and learning disabilities, etc. Based on your research interest, I’ll put you into groups of 3-4 people, and together you will research the issue. Consider: Who are the people involved? What are the stakes? What policies pertain to this literacy issue? What might educators do to affect this issue? Each member of the group will research one component of the issue in order to create a fuller, coherent picture of it. Your final presentation will be based on this topic.

Final presentation

During the last week of class, each group will each lead the class in a short activity based on their Literacy Research project. Make it interesting and interactive! You may choose to create a website, teach a mini literacy lesson, create a movie, script and perform a short play, design a game, develop a small piece of software, or countless other things to demonstrate your answer to one of the critical questions we’ve asked in class.