Literacy for Sustainable Development in the Age of by Foreword by Tove Skutnabb-Kangas By (author) Naz Rassool

By Foreword by Tove Skutnabb-Kangas By (author) Naz Rassool

This article discusses the complexities that encompass literacy within the glossy international. It examines winning definitions and perspectives of literacy and evaluates those opposed to the technological talents and data calls for of the knowledge society.

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Functional and basic literacy within the UNESCO framework were conceived of as a neutral set of technical decoding skills and functional writing skills existing autonomously outside culture and society. Thus they represented a technique to be learned and then applied. These definitions also presented literacy as value-free because the onus was on the individual to learn to read and write; and, relatedly, her/his ability to learn to read and write. They were deemed to be beneficial and empowering because once acquired, these skills could be applied to other areas of learning; thus they would increase knowledge and develop thinking.

579-629). Ottawa: Canadian Center of Language Rights. Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove (in press a) Human rights and language wrongsa future for diversity. Language Sciences, Special volume, Phil Benson, Peter Grundy and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (eds). Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove (in press b) Language attrition, language death, language murderdifferent facts or different ideologies? Proceedings of the Conference 'Strong' and 'Weak' Languages in the European Union: Aspects of Linguistic Hegemonism. Centre for the Greek Language, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki & Organisation 'Thessaloniki Cultural Capital of Europe 1997'.

How valid is this view, and what are the implications for the way in which we conceptualise what literacy is? Are the notions of literacy embedded in these diverse claims equivalent? That is to say, do they tell the same story about literacy, and are they grounded in the same pedagogies? Are they framed by the same sets of knowledge, understanding and skills criteria? If not, why not? Why and how are different views and forms of literacies privileged over others? In a world in which electronic texts play an increasingly important role in everyday life, how realistically can the notion of literacy focused primarily on the reading and writing of conventional print be sustained?

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