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Functional Literacy

            In the article What is Literacy?, James Paul Gee addresses the functionality of different discourses. A big part of literacy, as he describes it, is understanding the different uses of primary and secondary discourses. In order to master literacy you must know how to use primary and secondary discourses at appropriate times. In this case “function” indicates that these discourses have different uses or occur in different settings.

            When bringing a program that promotes literacy to Northern Ghana, it seemed like an important thing to establish is what kind of discourses occur in the region. In The Leap to Literacy and Life Change in Northern Ghana, there was an emphasis on community building as well as literacy. They stressed that they were teaching children functional literacy, and from the overview it seemed that this was done with a focus on their local life.

There was a stress on incorporating their mother tongue, and teaching the discourse that they were exposed to during a certain family trade. This is different than just teaching children to read and write. Instead they are working to incorporate their life into the classroom. Mixing both “acquisition” (learning through exposure) and “formal learning” seems to be beneficial to students who are trying to master literacy skills.

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A Conversation on Education

A Conversation on Education:

Coles, Freire, and Dewey



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Reading Advertisements

Women Lie, Men Lie
…And so do Advertisements

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How Can You Argue Effectively Against Someone’s Reality?

There are certain ways to argue a point in order to get someone to listen to what you have to say, and even grow to believe you. The bigger the lie or the bigger the change that a person must make in order to adjust to what you’ve told them; the harder it will be for you to convince them. People are more apt to believe you when there’s an immediate threat being posed, when they aren’t as knowledgeable about the subject, or when you have a monopoly on the information. People also take into account the reliability of the person trying to convince them of something.

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A Copyrighted Manifesto

Growing up, we have been conditioned to think that plagiarism is wrong, and we have seen the serious consequences that have resulted against people when they have attempted to use another’s work without citing it. Schools threaten their students with expulsion, and larger institutions threaten the public with legal action. Because of these circumstances, David Shield’s proposal, in his book “Reality Hunger”, of doing away with citations is almost absurd. Some people do not even bother to process his argument because it just seems impractical. It seems to them as if he isn’t saying anything new; that he’s just compiling quotes from other people.

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