Literacy: BeyondDefinitionsProfessor Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield
The literacy practices of children and young people in the 21st century 2■ Printed texts permeate children’s daily reading, but in various ways - complex patterns related to access, gender and family practices■ 87% of children aged 5-11 in the UK have access to the Internet at home; wide range of online texts accessed including games, social networking sites, virtual worlds, chatrooms. Literacy central to this online ‘interaction order’.■ Text creation involves the use of a range of non-digital and digital media - e.g. writing on paper and screen; using screen capture software (machinima); writing on mobiles (texting, which can include and video messaging).
Literacy in the 21st Century 3 Literacy: written word/ signs/ symbols Oracy/ aural Visual Gestural/ animation
Literacy in the 21st Century 3 Literacy: written word/ signs/ symbols Oracy/ aural Visual Gestural/ animation
4 OLD/ NEW LITERACIES Similarities Differences•Require competence in •New kinds of texts emerging encoding,decoding and consisting of many more modes operating simultaneously than previously comprehending alphabetic print •Require skills in encoding and•Functions e.g. for decoding a variety of modes, not just writing communication,learning, •Enable different kinds of social pleasure, information participation through literacy•Wide range of text types •Authorship of texts often multiple and frequently• Authorship of texts generally anonymous •One-to-many communication made more known and often individual possible What are the consequences for the teaching and learning of literacy?
Three ‘message systems’ of educational institutions (Bernstein, 1977) 5 Curriculum Pedagogy Assessment
Curriculum 7 ...though it is claimed that the Literacy Strategy is firmly based on national and international evidence, DfES took the extraordinary step, after the Strategy had been implemented, of commissioning an academic, Roger Beard of Leeds University, to discover what that evidence might be (Beard, 1998). (Alexander, 2004)
8 Building blocks for the 21st century literacy curriculumKnowledge of the Comprehension affordances of Spellingmodes other than writing Oracy Punctuation Grammar Principles of transductionCritical literacy Genre/ text Phonics types Concepts of online texts Concepts Social of print constructions of Keyboard skills Vocabulary literacy Fluency Morphological Social PhonologicalHandwriting awareness semiotics awareness
10The findings suggest that traditional patterns of whole classinteraction have not been dramatically transformed by thestrategies, supporting earlier studies of the NLS (Mroz et al,2000; English et al, 2002; Hardman et al, 2003b). In the wholeclass section of literacy and numeracy lessons, teachers spentthe majority of their time either explaining or using highlystructured question and answer sequences. Far fromencouraging and extending pupil contributions to promote higherlevels of interaction and cognitive engagement, most of thequestions asked were of a low cognitive level designed to funnelpupils response towards a required answer. (Hardman et al., 2003)
11To what extent did NLS policy and related curricular materialsprovide opportunities for teachers to learn such knowledge anddevelop such skills? The Narrative Reading Unit offers littleelaboration of the theories upon which it is based, and isconspicuously silent on the different ways in which it may beemployed, problems that are likely to arise, pedagogicalprinciples, etc. The professional development opportunitiesprovided by the NLS were based largely on a demonstration andimitation model, in which the teachers observed live or videodemonstrations, which they were then expected to emulate.None of the complexities or problematic aspects of suchteaching were explored, nor did teachers receive feedback ontheir own teaching. (Leifstein, 2008)
12Collaboration Choice Co-construction of learning Control Creativity
Strategies 13■ Individual/ dyad/ group/ whole class ■ Teachers as writers / readers opportunities for interactive reading and writing/ multimodal authoring ■ Visiting authors/ illustrators■ Individual, extended reading and writing/ ■ Family literacy projects multimodal authoring ■ Community-based approaches to writing■ Author’s theatre e.g.‘Everybody Writes’ project■ Writing workshops ■ Use of moving image media e.g. films, computer games■ Literature circles ■ Use of Web 2.0 social networking sites■ Use of play, drama, art, music e.g. blogs, Twitter, virtual worlds, Facebook
15Heavy reliance on external testing in a high stakesenvironment has undesirable features that may workagainst assessment for learning. It tends to promote“teaching for the test” (Morrison and Tang Fun Hei, 2002)and may create construct-irrelevant variance from theanxiety and low self esteem exhibited by the leastsuccessful students (Harlen and Deakin-Crick, 2003).Some students may be turned off formal learning forever. (Stanley et al., 2009)
16Warrants for assessment should recognize the possibilities as wellas the limitations of design in relation to the situation orcircumstances of any one assessment activity. In particular, therepresentational possibilities for knowing offered by assessmentdesigns should be acknowledged as limiting some representationswhile enabling others. Reasoned and reasonable warrants form thebasis for thinking about the consequences of an assessment. (Murphy, in press)
17 Assessment focus Skills and strategies observedaf1 Use a range of Children using the internet, CD strategies, including Rom books and computer accurate decoding to games used similar decoding, Assessment focus Skills and strategies observed read for meaning syntactic and semantic strategies on screen as in book-based reading af5 Explain and comment on Children commented on writer’s use of language, language, image and music asaf2 Understand, Children retrieved information including grammatical and they trawled the internet, describe, select or which interested them from the literary features at word highlighting key sections. retrieve information, internet, selecting and quoting and sentence level events or ideas from from sites to suit their purposes af6 Identify and comment on Children identified the viewpoints texts and use writer’s purposes and shown in the content of sports quotation to or viewpoints, and the overall sites on the internet. reference to text effect of the text on theaf3 Deduce, infer or Children demonstrated these reader interpret information, skills as they used computer af7 Relate texts to their social, Children used their out-of-school events or ideas from games, the internet and CD- cultural and historical knowledge to help make sense texts Roms contexts and literary of their reading. traditionsaf4 Identify and comment Children held decided views on on the structure and the structure, organisation and organisation of texts, presentation of preferred screen including grammatical texts, commenting particularly on and presentational images. features at text level (Bearne et al., 2007)
18 Engagement, Structure and understanding and Inference and deduction organisation of texts response Responds to characterisation, reading facial expression and gesture Engages with texts, exploring and in moving and still images to identify Makes comparisons between texts enacting interpretations and how characters are feeling and noting similarities and differences, sympathising or identifying with theEmergent recognises how characters are for example, between images in a situations of characters, for example, presented in different ways, for picturebook and moving images about families and friendship in films, example, how colour, line, movement with sound. picturebooks, comics or magazines. and music are used to express heroic and villainous characters. Uses text features, to scan and Uses different reading techniques for Discusses and raises questions assess for relevance/ interest, for different text types, for example, radialDeveloping about the authorship of texts, for example, titles, credits and blurb; reading for picturebooks and example leaflets, internet texts, text boxes on websites; illustrated information books; looking advertisements. advertisements in comics/ for menus on screen to help navigate. magazines. Evaluates texts critically by comparing how different text types treat the same Explains some inferred meanings, Understands how narrative tension information or themes, for example, drawing on evidence across the text, is created in different types of text,Experienced tension in narrative, film, comics or for example, implied attitudes in for example, comic strip, computer graphic narrative; film versions of magazine articles or website material. game, film, graphic novel. known stories; live acted and animated versions of the same story. (Bearne, with Bazalgette, 2010)
Literacy teaching, learning and assessment in the 21st century 19• We can draw on a well-developed body of knowledge about how children develop print literacy skills, knowledge and understanding (Beard, Riley & Myhill, 2009; Flood et al., 201l; Kamil et al., 2011) and an emerging knowledge base of how they develop digital literacy skills, knowledge and understanding (Bearne et al., 2009; Dwyer, 2010; Larson and Marsh, in press). There is a range of research on effective approaches to literacy curriculum, pedagogy and assessment (Wyse, Andrews and Hoffman, 2010; Hall, in press, Kennedy, 2010). We can also draw on a substantial body of knowledge about effective approaches to curriculum development, pedagogy and assessment outside of the literacy field (Alexander et al., 2009, Gardner et al., 2010, James and Pollard, 2011) to inform developments.• There is a range of work to draw on which enable us to learn from the successes and challenges faced by the implementation of national/ state literacy strategies (e.g. in England - Leifstein, 2008; Wyse, 2003) in the development of new national strategies to increase literacy attainment and achievements.• There are areas in need of further research: (i) Inclusive practices - literacy teaching which responds to cognitive and physical ability differences, language, and aspects of identity such as ‘race’ and gender; (ii) Social justice issues- still a long tail of under-achievement related to socio-economic status; (iii)Family and community engagement - we need to identify ways in which community ‘funds of knowledge’ (Moll et al., 1992) can be drawn on more effectively (iv) Literacy in the digital age - this work will become increasingly important in understanding the impact of technological changes on literacy; (v)Professional development - literacy teaching, learning and assessment is more complex than ever, and therefore more challenging for teachers to develop the required range of skills, subject knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge/TPCK - requires an integrated, recursive and inquiry-based approach to initial and continuing professional development.