Definition of Literacy

Definition of Literacy

Length: 469 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
There are many complications that arise when seeking a single definition of literacy. The debate over what is literacy and what isn’t is one that is of critical importance to the education of our country’s students. When originally asked at the beginning of this course about what literacy is, my initial response was the ability to read and write. While I suppose my answer wasn’t wrong, it certainly wasn’t entirely right either. Reading and writing are certainly important aspects of any persons literacy and are therefore one of the reasons why schools test in these areas frequently. However, as the course progressed I came to understand that there maybe more to what I originally thought about what literacy is. I came to realize that coming up with a single definition would prove to be a tedious task since there now appeared to be so many things that can be considered literacy. Through reading articles pertaining to literacy and observing various settings where literacy is used, I have been able to come to a better understanding of what literacy is.
     Elliot Eisner, in his book Cognition and Curriculum Reconsidered, talks about forms of representation. He defines forms of representation as “the devices that humans use to make public conceptions that are privately held.” (Eisner, p. 39) He says that these can take multiple forms ranging from oral speech to music to images. Eisner gives the example of a painter who comes across a small mid-west town. Eisner suggests that if the painter were to want to express his private conceptions about the town to the public, he would most likely do so through the form of a painting. This is important because how a person expresses their selves is founded in their own personal literacy. What if the painter was asked to tell someone about the town and he was not allowed to use painting as a form of representation? How would the painter then be able to do so to the best of his ability? What this proves is that multiple forms of representation are needed because every person is different in their literary preferences. Indeed, Eisner states that to be refrained from using a form of representation “would eventually not only limit expression, but put the brakes on conception as well.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Definition of Literacy." 27 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Definition of Literacy Essay

- ILY Secretariat (1989) defines literacy as a relative concept, which encompasses a range of reading and writing skills. In international circles, the term basic literacy is used to indicate the ability to read and write your own name. The term functional literacy means the ability to read and write well enough to accomplish simple everyday reading and writing tasks in a particular society. For Australia, the goal of functional literacy in English is essential but not adequate. Literacy involves the integration of listening, speaking, reading, writing and critical thinking; it incorporates numeracy....   [tags: sustainable society, writing skills]

Research Papers
965 words (2.8 pages)

The Changing Definition of Literacy in Australia Essay

- Literacy is a fundamental life skill; all children should have. As Australia is an increasingly multicultural country, migration has directly affected teachers whose classrooms nowadays have an array of linguistically diverse students. As a result, the definition of literacy is no longer considered the ability to read and write. Theory suggests that language acquisition is enhanced by social interaction with peers and more knowledgeable others, combined with explicit instruction and a supportive learning surrounding....   [tags: interactions, communication, classroom]

Research Papers
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Summary Of ' Superman And Me, Definition Of Literacy Essay

- Grammars. Grammar errors. You are missing an “s” at the end of a plural because it is not singular. Whatever the rules are I still don’t get them. As you can see this paper is probably full of grammar mistakes more than anything else. Being a bilingual student is very hard to distinguish the differences in what is grammatically correct or grammatically incorrect. Not to mention, my definition of grammar is that it sounds grammatically correct in my ears, therefore, I don’t know you what you are talking about....   [tags: Writing, Reading, Grammar, Linguistics]

Research Papers
1234 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Definition Of Literacy By James Paul Gee

- In this paper, James Paul Gee states his opinion on the definition of literacy. He begins by redefining the word “discourse” and uses it frequently throughout the paper. Gee defines discourse as a group that you are socially linked to through your actions and thoughts. This group defines who you are in society. He then uses the beginning of his paper to continue explaining “discourses”. The main points he covers are that discourses are defined by history and culture and therefore, change through time....   [tags: Knowledge, Education, Understanding, Learning]

Research Papers
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Visual Literacy And Language Literacy

- Visual literacy is the capability to critically understand and interpret images. Images are made to convince readers about messages placed by the authors. Images are like printed text so they can be read. Visual literacy communicates through a process of reading and interpretation. “This view identifies literacy practices as a set of purposeful events mediated by written texts and embedded in the broader social goals and cultural practices of particular groups. “Literacy, therefore, is not a single set of generic reading and writing skills, and it can mean different things to different people at different times” (Rethinking Academic Literacies, pg....   [tags: Communication, Understanding, Literacy]

Research Papers
843 words (2.4 pages)

Literacy Behind The Scene Literacy Essay

- Literacy Behind the Scene Literacy is a word that has multiple meanings behind it. Every individual will have their own definition of what literacy is and how it affects society today. Literacy in a nutshell is anything that is recognized, read, or even just being understood by an individual. This can be in written form, by the use of symbols, and oral communication. Without literacy the world would fall apart at its seams. Everyday tasks would be impossible to be completed. Tasks as simple as going to the grocery store would be impossible....   [tags: Writing, Literacy, Communication, Writing system]

Research Papers
762 words (2.2 pages)

The Crisis in Adolescent Literacy Essay

- Finding a definition of literacy is not as easy as it sounds. The Webster definition says that to be literate is to be” able to read and write.” But to some researchers, this definition is too simplistic, leading to multiple models of literacy. Most Americans adhere to the autonomous model, which falls closest to the standard, dictionary definition. Believers in this form say that literacy is a cognitive activity that students learn like any other basic skill. It has a set of proficiencies that one must master in order to be capable of decoding and encoding text (Alvermann, 2009; SIL International, 1999)....   [tags: Literacy Essays]

Research Papers
2250 words (6.4 pages)

Rasool’s Multidisciplinary View of Literacy Essay example

- There are many different opinions as to ‘What is literacy?’ and ‘What are literacy difficulties?’ Rassool’s (2009) article looks at literacy from an interdisciplinary approach which demonstrates how multidimensional it is and how literacy should be considered in relation to ‘ideology, culture, knowledge and power’ (Rassool, 2009, p. 7). She looks at the question of ‘What is literacy?’ from the perspective of the individual and the broader issues which shape both government policy and the practice of the individual tutor....   [tags: Literacy Essays]

Research Papers
2400 words (6.9 pages)

A Study of Digital Literacy in a Marginalised Community Essay

- Introduction: Many young students enter into higher education with less focus and understanding of the digital and computing skills which is beneficial for higher education. Current as well in future, most of the new jobs will require excellent digital skills and work will be based only on the digital world, improving digital literacy is an essential part of the higher education and training.Courses either full or part time will help the young learners to learn the subjects in the digital world enable students to gain the skills and confidence they need to use digital technology not only to support their learning but also in the work environment....   [tags: Literacy Essays]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Importance of Media Literacy

- Media technology tends to make its greatest advances by fulfilling the changing needs of consumers, as illustrated in the exponential increase we see in computer processing power every year. Many have argued that one of the driving forces behind this has been video games; a medium that requires more processing in terms of graphics and computational power than many other applications. Despite their impact on computer technology, and the pervasiveness they have in our culture, video games share much of the same stigma as television....   [tags: Media Literacy in Education]

Research Papers
1518 words (4.3 pages)

Related Searches

” (Eisner, p. 42)
     Eisner makes an important point when he states that “Every form of representation neglects some aspect of the world…Not everything can be said through anything.” (Eisner, p. 41) This is an important point because a form of representation that might succeed in describing one thing could be insufficient in describing another. Eisner makes an interesting assertion that “the forms of representation children have access to or are encouraged to use will shape the mental skills or forms of intelligence they will be able to
Return to