Old Literacies and the “New” Literacy Studies: Revisiting Reading and Writing

Norm Friesen, Dec 28, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Norm Friesen takes an entire essay to get to making this point, but it's worth the wait: "A curriculum –whether in Nippur or New York-- is not a description of development, it is a prescription for it; and this is the difference that separates a relativist study of inscriptive and expressive practices from the practical realities of education." What that means is that literacy isn't some sort of invariable, but rather, is the result of layers upon layers of cultural norms that have piled up over the years, and it is one that is (importantly) created through education, and not merely revealed through it.

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