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Crossing boundaries: Literacy practices in formal and informal contexts in FE and HE Mary Hamilton, David Barton and Candice Satchwell Literacy Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Crossing boundaries: Literacy practices in formal and informal contexts in FE and HE Mary Hamilton, David Barton and Candice Satchwell Literacy Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crossing boundaries: Literacy practices in formal and informal contexts in FE and HE Mary Hamilton, David Barton and Candice Satchwell Literacy Research Centre, Lancaster University LiDU Seminar, Glasgow, 1 March, 2010

2 Data from two different projects Literacies for Learning in Further Education (LfLFE) project ESRC 2004—7 Academics Writing a pilot study of how the writing practices of academic staff are changing

3 Contributions of a Literacy Studies approach Literacies are part of social practices which are observable in literacy “ events ” or “ moments ” and are patterned by social institutions and power relationships. This approach encourages us to look beyond texts themselves to what people do with literacy, with whom, where and how

4 Aspects of a literacy practice AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice

5 Aspects of a literacy practice AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice

6 Aspects of a literacy practice AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice

7 . ‘I was interested in questions raised about who is represented in a course population which is able and happy to take on the uncertainty and chaos of digital culture as a topic of study - how lessons from this kind of brave and exciting experiment in pedagogy might be applicable to the more personally threatened learners often found in widening participation contexts.’

8 Borders and boundaries in Literacies for Learning in FE project

9 Notion of ‘border literacies’ was abandoned; instead: Literacy practices in different domains of students’ lives had different characteristics Literacy practices can be separated out into different aspects or elements Could we identify elements of literacy practices which can travel across boundaries? Does this vary for different people in different situations?

10 Aspects of a literacy practice AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice

11 Aspec Self/Family AUDIENCE(S) Web-pages TEXT-TYPE(S) Of personal interest CONTENT Multimedia MEDIUM Multimodal MODE(S) Computer ARTEFACTS Specific – to buy most appropriate dog PURPOSE Self/Family PARTICIPANTS Engaged FEELINGS Web search ACTIVITY/PROCESS Home PLACE/SPACE Self-determined TIME/DURATION Responsibility to family VALUES associated with the practice Computer-literate family member IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice Researching dog breeds on the internet

12 Aspec Tutor/Examining body AUDIENCE(S) Web-pages TEXT-TYPE(S) Course-related CONTENT Multimedia MEDIUM Multimodal MODE(S) Computer ARTEFACTS Ambiguous - to achieve qualification PURPOSE Self PARTICIPANTS Disengaged ? FEELINGS Web search ACTIVITY/PROCESS College PLACE/SPACE Determined by tutor TIME/DURATION Unclear ? VALUES associated with the practice Student – low-achieving ? IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice Searching for childcare locations on the internet for college assignment

13 Characteristics of FE students’ ‘preferred’ literacy practices Mostly multi-modal, e.g. involving speech, music, gesture, movement, colour, pictures, symbols Mostly multi-media, e.g. including sound, electronic and paper media Shared, interactive, participatory – virtual and/or real Non-linear, i.e. involving complex, varied reading paths Agentic, i.e. with the student being in charge Purposeful to the student Clear audience perceived by the student Generative, i.e. involving sense-making and creativity Self-determined in terms of activity, time and place

14 Characteristics of students’ literacy practices mapped onto aspects of a literacy practice Clear AUDIENCE(S) Ambiguous Non-Linear TEXT-TYPE(S) Linear Generative CONTENT Non-generative Multimedia MEDIUM Mostly paper Multimodal MODE(S) Monomodal Personal ARTEFACTS Impersonal Clear PURPOSE Ambiguous More than one PARTICIPANTS One Engaged FEELINGS Disengaged Agentic ACTIVITY/PROCESS Imposed Not designated PLACE/SPACE Designated Self-determined TIME/DURATION Specified Shared VALUES Not shared Identified with IDENTITIES Not identified with

15 Aspec AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice Extent of resonance with students’ preferred literacies Demonstrating understanding of food hygiene

16 Aspec AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice Extent of resonance with students’ preferred literacies Demonstrating understanding of food hygiene ESSAY

17 Aspec AUDIENCE(S) TEXT-TYPE(S) CONTENT MEDIUM MODE(S) ARTEFACTS PURPOSE PARTICIPANTS FEELINGS ACTIVITY/PROCESS PLACE/SPACE TIME/DURATION VALUES associated with the practice IDENTITIES inscribed in the practice Extent of resonance with students’ preferred literacies Demonstrating understanding of food hygiene KITCHEN LAYOUT DIAGRAM ESSAY

18 Roles and identities Identification with role of ‘student’ – could change as student progressed through college Identification with imagined future, or real present, in the workplace Identification with these roles could include taking on the values of the literacy practices of their course and/or of the workplace.

19 CS: Okay. So anything in particular? Do you … do you want to work as a waiter, or as a chef or … SAM: I want to be a chef, definitely (…) SAM: But I don’t really know what got me into it. I think it was … I was a bit of a KP, like a pot washer, kitchen porter for a bit like at school, and I always wanted to be the chef there. I always looked up to the chef type of thing, because you know, so … CS: And could you have just carried on without coming to college if you wanted? SAM: I could have, yeah. You could do anything without going to college, you can really, but it’s not advised. CS: So what made you think that you should come? SAM: To college? Because I wanted the qualifications. I wanted it written down that I was qualified to be a chef.

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21 Academics Writing in a Changing World

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24 I sometimes I’m tempted to work at home …. Because then I can smoke…. But I generally resist that. I like to be work work, and home home, you know. So I come in every day and I don’t stay at home,. There might be a very occasional kind of panic, you know, when I’ve got some deadline to meet or something like that. I will actually stick it on my data stick and take it home and do some work at night, but mostly it’s, I do it here and if need be even I come in here on a Saturday.

25 I now try not to check the until 2 o’clock and so on. I find that very difficult to do but I think that it’s absolutely essential, certainly if I’m to get my work done… this lifetime, then that kind of focusing and organisation is absolutely essential. Keeping this place at bay, keeping the students at bay, I’m very committed to my students and my teaching, I take that stuff very seriously, but you know, if you aren’t single minded and have a clear kind of form of organisation that gives you the space, it’s really very difficult.

26 …. I don’t take hand written notes any more, I underline stuff in books and I tend to write a key to my annotations in the front flyleaf and the page number and what particular thing I’ve annotated, then I underline stuff in the margins but my handwriting isn’t reliable and if I leave it, after a couple of weeks I can’t read what I’ve written …. if I can’t remember what I’ve written, I generally can’t read it and so I’ve always typed for years.

27 I have a laptop a rather rickety old IBM …..but one of the things I am thinking about doing is getting a new laptop …you know I have a separate machine at home that I run the internet on but I keep my laptop as a walled garden, never goes onto the internet, never leaves the house actually, don’t know why I have a laptop frankly but there we go. It just sits there, I transfer stuff on a data stick between my computer and the one downstairs if I’m going to it to somebody but apart from that I don’t do anything else….

28 Conclusion. “Boundaries” are construed very differently by different people; Technologies are acting to dissolve boundaries of time and space in ways that are sometimes welcomed, sometimes resisted by users; Practices situated in informal contexts do not migrate in any simple way into educational settings even when technology is in place to facilitate this; A literacy studies approach can help untangle the elements of social practice that are in alignment or conflict and so aid understanding of outcomes in specific settings.


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