The Basics of ‘Old Learning’ Old education systems fitted very neatly into the old world of work. The state determined the syllabus the textbooks followed the syllabus, the teachers followed the textbooks, and the students follow the textbooks, hopefully in order to pass the tests. Henry Ford knew what what best for his customers – ‘any colour you like so long as it’s black’ - and the state knew what was best for children. And, in a way, teachers became a bit like production line workers, slaves to the syllabus, the textbooks and the examination system. The curriculum was packed with information in the form of quite definite facts – ‘facts’ about history, facts about science etc…. together, this was supposed to add up to useful-knowledge-for-life. Many of these facts have proven to be less durable than the curriculum of that time seemed to promise…. Nevertheless, there was one lesson that ‘good’ students took into the old workplace. From all the sitting up straight and listening to the teacher, from all the rigid classroom discipline, from all the knowledge imparted to them and uncritically ingested, they learnt to accept received authority and do exactly what they were told…. More than anything, it produced compliant learners, people who would accept what was presented to them as correct, and who passively learnt off by heart knowledge which could not easily be applied in new contexts – but they did not have knowledge of sufficient depth for a life of change and diversity….
The image of the new economy is the worker sitting in front of a computer screen. Information and communication dominate this ‘knowledge economy’… symbols are at the heart of new technologies… even in manufacturing, [workers] use screen-based interfaces, and these are lingquistically, visually and symbolically driven. … The new technologies are software – rather than hardware intensive, and are flexible and open to multiple users…. Technical knowledge has a shorter and shorter shelf-life. ‘Up-skilling’ needs to occur continuously…. Contrary to the old economy process of de-skilling, you need to be multiskilled, more flexible and more able to take on a range of tasks… technology is now very much a relationship between tools and the knowledge of these tools in people’s heads. …. Niche markets and ‘mass customization’, where ‘high tech’ meets ‘soft touch’ [lead to renewed interest in diversity]. ..teams work with high levels of interpersonal contact, and work best when differences –of interest, association, network, knowledge, experience, lifestyle and languages spoke – are respected and used as a source of creativity. …At the global level, …. distant markets become closer. (Kalantzis, Cope & Harvey, 2003, p. 20)
A Pedagogy ofMultiliteracies Danika Barker
Welcome• Who am I?• What are we going to be learning about?
Multiliteracies? social changetechnological economic change change
Next Week1) Read Chart for Analysing a Text2) Read Rodd, Zoe, and Jaclyn’s blogs (links all in syllabusand posted on my blog)3) Complete the literacy survey and think about how youwould redesign it for use with your students in your nextplacement.
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