Global/African Perspectives and Issues of Literacy Education


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An introduction to policies, beliefs and practices about literacy education in E. Africa for preschool - adult.

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Global/African Perspectives and Issues of Literacy Education

  1. 1. Language and Literacy Policies, Assumptions and Practices   Language policies  Language when and how -- preschool, K – 12  Adult programs and MDGs (funding) – in Ethiopia 30,000,000 targeted. Designed as practical/everyday approach in local language.
  2. 2. Preschool language and literacy  Chanting, memorizing, and rote learning to acquire English in preschool
  3. 3. English as language of learning  A secondary student proudly reads from his English textbook
  4. 4. Literacy for Social Change: Visual Literacy  Increasing prominence of visual literacy in public places – this one about ―evil men‖
  5. 5. Assumptions about Teaching and Learning 
  6. 6. Funds of Knowledge   Adult literacy  Children – drums as multi media and conduit to written literacy  Women – empowerment through linking knowledge and literacy
  7. 7. Funds of Knowledge: Empowering Adults through Literacy  Radio station operated by solar power that broadcasts local issues with local people including contests between high schools
  8. 8. Funds of Knowledge: Drumming and Storytelling  Scaffolding traditional drumming to literacy
  9. 9. Women, Literacy and Social Change  Women’s collective focussed on economic benefit of garment making
  10. 10. Literacy Materials   Dominance of colonial materials  Scarcity of local language materials (early through secondary) – C-E as leading producer/supporter and publisher in Africa but greatly limited  Need for early literacy materials faintly on horizon – new notion of ―emergent and early literacy‖  Africa Storybook Project as one way forward with challenges  Funds of knowledge approach – e.g. drum storytelling, home crafts (garment making, candles, soap)
  11. 11. Reading for Information  Reading newspapers in college library
  12. 12. Secondary Reading Materials  Predominance of English donated texts
  13. 13. Children’s Reading Materials  Paucity of early literacy materials often hidden in back areas amongst little used resources
  14. 14. Conclusions/Comment   Global view – from the ground—in your context of diversity  Careful consideration of views/beliefs about childhood/learning/teaching/literacy – a critical position – contesting, aligning etc community beliefs – not a neutral profession  Importance of professional identify – you are not alone – stronger together
  15. 15. Communities for Literacy  A major goal for Africa is ―building a culture of reading‖. Community libraries are pivotal to this goal.
  16. 16. Community Celebration of Literacy  A village in Uganda gathers to celebrate literacy and learning
  17. 17. However, what is the future for global literacy?  Note the children’s reading materials – some local language materials above their reading levels, book on phonics, and chart from US reading program
  18. 18. Stronger Together: Building Professional Networks and Identity  Library education has been disbanded by the government. The CODE Ethiopia education program is thriving by bringing groups of regions/districts in the country and identifying leaders and mentors in each unit.
  19. 19.