– – –
perhaps.. what keeps getting in our way .. no?
– – –
Literacy is traditionally understood as the ability to read and write. The term’s meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, numbers, images and other means to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture. The concept of literacy is expanding in OECD countries to include skills to access knowledge through technology and ability to assess complex contexts.
dominant symbol systems of a culture.. huge. are we listening to what that is … today..?
Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from a critical interpretation of written or printed text. The key to all literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text.
? (see Papert article below..)
Reading development involves a range of complex language underpinnings including awareness of speech sounds (phonology), spelling patterns (orthography), word meaning (semantics), grammar (syntax) and patterns of word formation (morphology), all of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency and comprehension. Once these skills are acquired, the reader can attain full language literacy, which includes the abilities to apply to printed material critical analysis, inference and synthesis; to write with accuracy and coherence; and to use information and insights from text as the basis for informed decisions and creative thought.
The inability to do so is called illiteracy or analphabetism.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society”.
Many policy analysts consider literacy rates as a crucial measure of the value of a region’s human capital. For example, literate people can be more easily trained than illiterate people – and generally have a higher socioeconomic status; thus they enjoy better health and employment prospects. Literacy increases job opportunities and access to higher education.
totally fine if that’s the definition.. but most of the above needn’t be where a person finds value.. or is rated % literate.. today.
[via tweet from Rob]:
obsolete skill set..
The facetious old turn of phrase that identifies schooling with the three Rs — reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic — may express the most obstinate block to change in education. The central role of these “basics” is never discussed; it is considered obvious. Thus the most important consequences of new technologies are not recognized by education policy-makers.
The role of the Rs in elementary education used to be beyond question. How effectively could one teach geography, history, and science to students who could not read? Looking back, we cannot seriously fault these arguments — within their historical context.
But looking forward, we can formulate new arguments beyond the imagination of 19th century thinkers, who could hardly have conjured images of media that would provide modes of accessing and manipulating knowledge radically different than those offered by the Rs. Nor could they have formulated what I see as the deep difference between education past and future: In the past, education adapted the mind to a very restricted set of available media; in the future, it will adapt media to serve the needs and tastes of each individual mind.
Admitting the prospect of Knowledge Machines does not imply that people will no longer need to read. But reading will no longer be the unique primary access road to knowledge and learning, and it should therefore no longer be the dominant consideration in the design of School.
Demoting reading from its privileged position in the school curriculum is only one of many consequences of Knowledge Machines. A child who has grown up with the freedom to explore provided by such machines will not sit quietly through the standard curriculum dished out in most schools today.
What follows from imagining a Knowledge Machine is a certainty that School will either change very radically or simply collapse. It is predictable (though still astonishing) that the Education Establishment cannot see farther than using new technologies to do what it has always done in the past, teach the same curriculum. I have suggested that new media radically change the concept of curriculum by demoting its core elements. But I would go further: The possibility of freely exploring worlds of knowledge calls into question the very idea of an administered curriculum.
I went from article to article and then from book to book following associations. I was playing. But as I played, …
…I built a web of knowledge that could not always be described, even though it came from the medium of print.
as i played…
When I went to bed I still had not found a direct answer. But by then I knew enough about giraffes to think about the question in an informed way, and to figure out that they probably sleep standing up. My activity followed a pattern very reminiscent of a child at play. And the knowledge I gained was not the collection of propositions I read in the books, but the web of intuitive connections that formed as my mind bounced here and there in a non-linear fashion.
huge – (to convos with Nikhil et al – on basics)
After mastering the Rs, the print medium gave me an “extended immediacy” — a larger world I could explore in a freely interactive spirit. But thanks to an archaic school system, many children lose the taste for immediate exploration long before they acquire the mastery of book skills needed to find that extended immediacy. This is the real tragedy of dropping out. Whether or not they put in the requisite number of years in the classroom, many (or even most) children emerge without the intellectual spark with which all are born.
I see then a pattern of intellectual development that I shall oversimplify by casting it in three distinct phases. The first phase is one of universally successful learning. All children show a passion for interactive exploration of their immediate world. The diversity of possible activity is great enough for different individuals to find their own styles. The third phase is seen in intellectually awake adults. Here too we see a great diversity of styles. But not everyone gets there. The second phase is the narrow and dangerous passage in which many factors conspire to undermine the continuation of phase one. School is often blamed for imposing on children a uniformity that suffocates those who have developed markedly different intellectual styles; much as it used to suffocate left-handed people by forcing them to “write properly”.
The early and massive imposition on children of what I call “letteracy” carries risk not only because it suppresses diversity of style, but because it forces an abrupt break with the modes of learning shared by the first and third phases. New media promise the opportunity to offer a smoother transition to what really deserves to be called “literacy.” Literacy should not mean the ability to decode strings of alphabetic letters. Consider a child who uses a Knowledge Machine to acquire a broad understanding of poetry (spoken), history (perhaps relived in simulations), and art and science (through computer-based labs), and thus draws on this knowledge to conduct a well-informed, highly persuasive campaign to preserve the environment. All this could happen without being letterate. If it does, should we say that the child is illiterate?
The use of the same word to mean both the mechanical ability to read as well as a rich connection with culture is one more reflection of today’s paucity of media. As we enter an age in which diversity of media will allow individuals to choose their own routes to literacy, that dual meaning will pass away. For the next generation or two one must expect literacy to include some letteracy, since our culture’s past is so connected with expression through writing. But even if a truly literate person of the future will be expected to know how to read books as well as understand the major trends in art history or philosophy, via whatever other media become available, it will not follow that learning the letters should be the cornerstone of elementary education.
There are very few school environments in which the idea of the illetterate but literate child is plausible.
Mary Ann – thinking about being literate
deterritorialized spaces that open up via curiosities
John Hagel (@jhagel) tweeted at 6:18 AM – 23 Jun 2018 :
Addressing a challenge that George Orwell foresaw 70 years ago – the job of writers right now is to describe what we do not yet see, or what we see but cannot yet describe, which is a condition almost indistinguishable from not seeing https://t.co/htq9nbGTxz (http://twitter.com/jhagel/status/1010497236172591104?s=17)
article by @mashagessen
orwell: ‘..Unless spontaneity enters at some point or another, literary creation is impossible, and language itself becomes something totally different from what it is now, we may learn to separate literary creation from intellectual honesty. At present we know only that the imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity.’
When we engage with the lies—and engaging with these lies is unavoidable and even necessary—we forfeit the imagination. But the imagination is where democracy lives.
Fighting to preserve things as they are inevitably becomes a battle to think and speak of things in certain ways, either defensively or preëmptively. In trying to salvage the meaning of words as they pertain to the present, we keep words and concepts from evolving. Salvaged words quickly dry up and crack. Then they fail. We face the future empty-handed, language-wise; we are dumb in the face of the future.
And yet I think this is the job of writers right now: to describe what we do not yet see, or what we see but cannot yet describe, *which is a condition almost indistinguishable from not seeing.
*i think there’s a huge diff.. and am guessing it’s in the thinking we have to describe things (in word/print) that is keeping us thinking they are the same/indistinguishable..
I want to find a way to describe a world in which people are valued not for what they produce but for who they are—in which dignity is not a precarious state..t
Above all, find a way to describe a world in which the way things are is not the way things have always been and will always be, in which imagination is not only operant but prized and nurtured.
hard to describe.. other than.. ongoingly changing.. ie: bravery to change
And find a way to describe many other things that are true but not seen, seen but not spoken, and things that are not but could be..t
perhaps less describing (having a description).. more being..
from Lewis Mumford’s myth of the machine (v 2 – pentagon):
perhaps another fate is actually in store for mankind.. perhaps homo sapiens will come to a quicker end by a shorter route.. already indicated/expressed w psychedelic extravagance by marshall mcluhan and his followers.. the seemingly solid older megamachine w its rigid limitations and predictable performance might give rise to he exact antithesis: an electronic anti megamachine programmed to accelerate disorder, ignorance and entropy.. .. souls seek total ‘liberation ‘for organization, continuity and purpose of any sort, in systematic de building, dissolution, and de creation.. ironically, such a return to randomness would, according to probability theory, produce the most static and predictable state possible: that of unorganized ‘matter’
mcluhan appears to believe this has already happened, ..mankind as a whole will return to the pre primitive level, sharing mindless sensations and pre linguistic communion.. in the electronic phantasmagoria that he conjures up, not alone will old fashioned machines be permanently outmoded but nature itself will be replaced:
psychiatry reveals he true nature of this promised state. what is it but the electronic equivalent of the dissociation and subjective inflation that takes place under lysergic acid and similar drugs? in so far as mcluhan’s conception correspond s to any existential reality, it is that of an electronically induced mass psychosis.. not surprisingly, perhaps, now that the facilities for instantaneous communication have planetary outlets, symptoms of this psychosis are already detectable in every part of the planet. in mcluhan’s case, *the disease poses as the diagnosis..
as it happens, the proposal to confine man to a present time cage that cuts him off from both past/future did not originate in the present age, nor is it dependent upon an exclusive commitment to electronic communication.. the ancient name for this form of exerting centralized control is ‘the burning of the books’.. in china 213 bc has been repeated at intervals as the ‘final solution’ when censorship and legal prohibition such as still prevail in totalitarian countries fail..
but it remained for mcluhan to picture as tech’s ultimate gift a more absolute mode of control: *one that will achieve total illiteracy, w no permanent record except that officially committed to the computer, and open only to hose permitted access to this facility.. this repudiation of an independent written and printed record means nothing less than the erasure of man’s diffused, multi brained collective memory: it reduces all human experience into that of the present generation and the passing moment.. the instant record is self effacing.. in effect, if not in intention, this would **carry mankind back to a far more primitive state than any tribal one: for pre literate peoples conserved a large part of their past by cultivating extraordinary memories and maintaining by constant repetition – even at the cost of creativity and invention – the essential links to their own past..
on the cancerous ness of *literacy
**thinking more in terms of getting back to the not yet scrambled ness of a child.. so deeper to our essence.. rather than to some time period.. no cost to creativity.. actually led/induced by daily curiosity ie: cure ios city
for this *‘instant revolution’ to be successful, the **burning of the books must take place on a ***worldwide scale and include every form of permanent record open to public view