TOP 10 – #7: Need for broad definition of “Literacy” in preparing students for the 21st Century

 TOP 10 COUNTDOWN – Summary of ECI831 Learnings

It is with this post, I continue my TOP 10 Countdown as a summary of learnings in our ECI831 class.  This Top 10 inspired the creation of my “Future of education?” video for our final reflection project.  And the countdown continues…

AT #7:  Need for a broad definition of “Literacy” in preparing students for the 21st Century
In relation to curriculum, instruction, and assessment, it is necessary to rethink traditional practices and consider the skills necessary for 21st century learners especially in relation to the concept of “literacy”.  In Saskatchewan, our new curriculum documents are focussing on the importance of inclusion of multiple literacies involving a “continuum of interrelated skills, strategies, and knowledge that contribute to the development of an individual’s ability to pariticipate in a variety of roles and situations – in the school, home, and community.  Multiple literacies provide a variety of ways, including the use of language and technology, to interpret the world and express understanding of it through words, numbers, images, sounds, movements, or other representations.”  (Career Education 9, 2008)

In our ECI831 class readings, we were introduced to the NCTE Framework for 21st Century Curriclum and Assessment which highlights litereacies necessary for the 21st century in relation to English Language Arts.  It extends traditional thinking about the concept of literacy and expands it to include such competencies as the ability to:

  • Develop proficiency with the tools of tehnology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes.
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information.
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts.
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.

The document suggests teachers need to reflect on traditional teaching and assessment practices as well as on possible new forms of each in order to address the shift in the concept of literacy skills.  To me, this is food for thought for us as educators, particularly in the province of Saskatchewan as we are beginning to embrace a new understanding of “literacy”.


~ by lewisv on November 29, 2010.

One Response to “TOP 10 – #7: Need for broad definition of “Literacy” in preparing students for the 21st Century”

  1. […] important literacies of the 21st century.”  (Rheingold, 2010)  This quote relates back to my Top 7 reflection around the expanded notion of the concept of “literacy”.  With the availabilityof the […]

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