“Literacy is the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities at home, at work and in the community – to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.”
International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
The last part of the above quote indicates the power of literacy and how understanding the written word can literally transform a person’s life. I am very inspired by the work of Paulo Freire and that sentence reminds me of his theories on education including Critical Pedagogy.
I have always been very interested in issues surrounding literacy. It’s just one of those things I’ve been really aware of since I was a very small child. Three of my grandparents were illiterate and both my parents, although they had attended school, were forced to learn a new language when they immigrated to Canada. I also struggled with literacy as a young adult having dropped out of high school in Grade 10. I eventually received a high school diploma and went on to complete a three-year college program at the age of twenty-nine. I know how important being literate is since I can look back to those years when having low literacy affected many different aspects of my life in a negative manner.
The broader sense of the word literacy includes many different types of literacies including digital literacy, critical literacy and new literacies. The connection that I have made between those three branches of literacy within my scope of knowledge and my research interests is the theme of social justice. It is a common thread that interweaves itself in all my work but in none other area does it show more strongly. The following three pages demonstrate my current knowledge in the field of literacy through artifacts and articles I have written.