The challenge of 21st Century literacies

BURNETT, Cathy and MERCHANT, Guy (2015). The challenge of 21st Century literacies. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 59 (3), 271-274.

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In the second edition of their influential book on ‘New Literacies’, Lankshear & Knobel (2006) argued that engagement with these practices was ‘largely confined to learners’ lives in spaces outside of schools’ (p.30). That was nearly ten years ago, and in some respects very little has changed. Of course, in many classrooms there’s a lot more technology than there was, provision of smartboards desktops, laptops and portable devices is better, and there is a greater variety of software and hardware on offer. But even when equipment is available, up-to-date and in good working order, problems of curriculum integration still arise. Despite all the rhetoric about the importance of ‘new’ or ‘digital’ literacies in education, recent curriculum reforms and their associated assessment regimes have tended to privilege traditional literacy skills and print text. Although some innovative teachers are able to incorporate 21st Century Literacies in their classroom practice (see for example), for others the challenge is greater, particularly when it is coupled with competing curriculum priorities or the extensive blocking of websites associated with certain approaches to Internet safety (Hope, 2013). An expansive view of new literacies in practice somehow seems hard to realize.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: 10.1002/jaal.482
Depositing User: Guy Merchant
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 09:35
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:59

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