Barton And Hamilton, Literary Practices
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  • 1. David Barton and Mary Hamilton, “Literary Practices”
    • Before You Read Questions, pg. 42
    • Barton and Hamilton write, “Literacy is essentially social, and it is located in the interaction between people.” What does this mean?
    • .
    • Barton and Hamilton discuss literacy in terms of “events” and “practices” rather than “skills.” How do you see a literacy event or literacy practice differing from what we often describe as a literacy “skill”? Why might it be productive to think of literacy in these ways?
  • 2. “ A Social Theory of Literacy: Practices and Events”
    • Thesis: “We define what is meant by literacy practices and literacy events and explain some of the tenets of a social theory of literacy” (43). So this is the point/main idea of the essay.
    • Do they succeed? Can you tell me what a “literacy practice” is and what “literacy events” are and what “some of the tenets of a social theory of literacy” are?
  • 3. 6 Propositions about the nature of literacy
    • Literacy is best understood as a set of social practices; these can be inferred from events which are mediated by written texts. What kinds of events?
    • There are different literacies associated with different domains of life. What are “domains of life”?
    • Literacy practices are patterned by social institutions and power relationships, and some literacies are more dominant, visible and influential than others. What are social institutions? How do these institutions support certain literacies while repressing others?
  • 4. 6 Propositions about the nature of literacy
    • Literacy practices are purposeful and embedded in broader social goals and cultural practices. What do they mean?
    • Literacy is historically situated. How has literacy changed in the past 100 years? How has it changed in the past 20?
    • Literacy practices change and new ones are frequently acquired through processes of informal learning and sense making. What new literacies have you acquired in the past five years?
  • 5. 3 Components of social literacy:
    • Literacy Practices
    • Literacy Events
    • Texts
  • 6. Defining “literacy practices”
    • “ The notion of literacy practices offers a powerful way of conceptualizing the link between the activities of reading and writing and the social structures in which they are embedded and which they help shape” (43).
    • In your everyday life, where do you practice or use the skill of writing and/or reading without even realizing it?
  • 7. Defining “literacy practices”
    • “ Literacy practices are the general cultural ways of utilizing written language which people draw upon in their lives. In the simplest sense literacy practices are what people do with literacy ” (44).
    • In your everyday life, where do you practice or use the skill of writing and/or reading without even realizing it?
  • 8. Defining “literacy events”
    • “ Literacy events are activities where literacy has a role. Usually there is a written text, or texts, central to the activity and there may be talk around the text. Events are observable episodes which arise from practices and are shaped by them” (45).
    • What are some literacy events in which you participate?
  • 9. Defining “literacy events”
    • “ The notion of events stresses the situated nature of literacy, that it always exists in a social context ” (45).
    • “ Many literacy events in life are regular, repeated activities” (45). Such as?
    • “ In many literacy events there is a mixture of written and spoken language” (46).
  • 10. Defining “literacy events” looking at Figure 2
    • Figure 2 is “an example of an everyday literacy event.”
    • In this example, what is the literacy practice?
    • What is the literacy event?
    • How does the text function?
    • “ It is clear that in literacy events people use written language in an integrated way [with] … other non-text based images. The cookery text has numeracy mixed with printed literacy and the recipes come from books, magazines, television, and orally from friends and relatives” (46-7).
  • 11. Defining “domains/discourse communities”
    • “ Looking at different literacy events it is clear that literacy is not the same in all contexts; rather there are different literacies” (47).
    • “ There are different literacies associated with different domains of life” (47).
    • “ It is a useful starting point to examine the distinct practices in these domains, and then to compare, for example, home and school, or school and work-place” (47).
  • 12. Defining “domains/discourse communities”
    • “ We might expect the practices associated with cooking, for example, to be quite different in the home and in the work-place – supported, learned, and carried out in different ways” (47).
    • “ Domains, and the discourse communities associated with them, are not clear-cut, however: there are questions of the permeability of boundaries, of leakages and movement between boundaries, and of overlap between domains” (47).
    • “ Domains are structured, patterned contexts within which literacy is used and learned. Activities within these domains [discourse communities] are not accidental or randomly varying: there are particular configurations of literacy practices and there are regular ways in which people act in many literacy events in particular domains [discourse communities]” (48).
  • 13. “ A Social Theory of Literacy: Practices and Events”
    • Thesis: “We define what is meant by literacy practices and literacy events and explain some of the tenets of a social theory of literacy” (43). So this is the point/main idea of the essay.
    • So…are Barton and Hamilton successful in convincing of looking at literacies in a different, new way? Do you buy their argument that literacy is a social practice?
  • 14. After You Read Questions: #2, Rita and the 6 Propositions of Literacy
  • 15. For Tuesday:
    • Read “Creating a Community: Literacy Events in the African-American Churches” by Beverly Moss in Literacies in Context
    • Due: Before You Read Questions