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Becoming Literate about Literacy: Notes Towards Day 3 (Thurs, Jan. 19)

Anne Dalke's picture

I. Anne: coursekeeping
--how we doing on names/pronouns?

--Jody, Nell and I will meet tomorrow morning to finalize your praxis placements,
will e-mail you as soon as we've sorted this all through; almost there!

--tomorrow: Practicing Democracy: An Inauguration Day Teach-In

Faculty will share their responses to current events in the U.S. and around the world.
Followed by time for community reflection, a session on civic engagement and activism,
and a community art project. Thomas Great Hall, 1-5 pm

--next week we will all make our first praxis visits
Nell will join us again for Wednesday's class,
which we'll spend preparing for those

--as you know, we're trying to braid a thick rope of related issues:
y'day, prison; today, literacy

--Tuesday's focus: the dynamics among us, really 'reading this room'
prepared a page of excerpts from 5 different articles about group dialogue;
please read them all, then click on the URL of one of these to read it in full

--we'll be talking about how we talk with and listen to one another,
what practices we want to use together (handraising, computers, etc but
also other things: pacing, responding, etc); a form of literacy:
how to read ourselves, our classmates, our classroom,
attentively, collectively, and with care? 

--afterthoughts from y'day's discussion of 13th?
grateful for Farida's suggesting another film to compliment this one,
that gives a voice to previously incarcerated men and women (review,
find a place for it; very glad for suggestions: new course, still being shaped!)

II. Jody: start w/ question of scientific literacy
, as gestured
towards in the video interview with Daniel Jansen (?)
--what were your reactions?
--story of Greg's visit to RCF/engagement/astonishment of BMC students
--when designing this course, he asked: are you dealing w/ scientific literacy?
--tell one another stories of our own scientific il/literacy?
--video suggested by Ann Dixon, Serendip's webmaster: computer literacy
--seeding later conversations on this topic

from “Barcoding Life”:
Right now, you and everybody else, is basically what I call bio-illiterate….
You were taught how to read in 2nd grade, so you’re literate.

So you use that for everything.

But nobody taught you how to walk up to an ant on the pavement and know who the ant is. Or you eat some little green thing, what is it? Or you bite into a McDonald’s hamburger. Is it really a cow…? Or is it a pig, all mixed together?... We can’t teach you that when you are in second grade. But if I give you this [DNA barcode scanner], then you can read the biodiversity that’s around you….

you gradually build the library by users…the library could grow quickly, especially around things that people come in contact with…

III. Although Friere's language is not "scientific," and doesn't rely on a barcode scanner,
it does begin w/ a reading of the natural world; offers larger way to think about the process of becoming literate
falling in love w/ trees...

Anne: attend to the details of his language: do a text rendering of Friere's "The Importance of the Act of Reading"
Re-read the text: underline a sentence/box a phrase/circle a word.
Go round and read these passages.
What did we hear?

III. Break into small groups to do a different kind of work with the text;
count to four for four groups

What is it about?
What is it doing? (Why is it doing this?)
How does it help us think about the relation between reading the world and the word?
What is his definition of "literacy"?

IV. Jody: Return to large group: what emerged?
What is his definition of "literacy"?

V. Anne: What sort of strategies did you use/do you have for reading a text
that isn't immediately apprehensible?