NSWTOx Community Capacity Building

A blog for outreachers to access and exchange ideas and resources that promote, maintain and support community strengthening.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adult Literacy Research Program asks: What is Literacy?

Adult Literacy Research Program presents research interrogating both human capital and social capital litreracy models. This comprehensive body of research examines literacy and numeracy topics.

It found that "Based on the research, there appear to be three main
of literacy with currency in Australia today, with implications
for policy-making and teaching/learning:

  • a cognitive, individual-based model associated with a psychometric
    tradition, quantifiable levels of ability, and a deficit approach to
    'illiteracy', which is assumed to be both an outcome of individual inadequacy,
    and a causal factor in unemployment
  • an economics-driven model generally associated with workforce
    training, multiskilling, productivity, 'functional' literacy and notions of
    human capital
  • a sociocultural model which is most commonly associated with
    contextualised and multiple literacy practices, a valuing of the 'other',
    and a strong critical element.

In general, literacy today is perceived to be social by nature rather than merely an individual's set of skills, and there is consensus among literacy researchers that the meaning of literacy depends on the context in which it is being used" (Lonsdale & McCurry, p14).