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A Synthesis of Current Literacy Theories - Essay Example

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This paper “A Synthesis of Current Literacy Theories” will refer to various scholarly sources in addressing the various theories of literature, the issues that relate to literacy, and an analysis of literacy. It will elaborate various perspectives on literacy…
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A Synthesis of Current Literacy Theories
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A Synthesis of Current Literacy Theories

As a result, many scholars have different views on the concept of literacy, which leaves the common person more confused. Indeed, although the term ‘literacy’ is seemingly easier to understand by everybody, it has unfortunately proved to be complex and dynamic concept to interpret or even define. As such, we have many educational theorists, scholars, and newspaper editors defining the concept literacy. In the ancient times, literacy only referred to the ability of a person to read and write at an adequate level of proficiency that would enable them to communicate with others (TakingITGlobal, 2012). However, in the recent times, there is no mutually satisfactory measure of what adequate literacy means. As such, this paper will refer to various scholarly sources in addressing the various theories of literature, the issues that relate to literacy, and an analysis of literacy. Additionally, the paper will elaborate, synthesise, and analyse various perspectives on literacy. Furthermore, the paper will discuss the implications of the application of these perspectives to learning in vocational education and training centres. More so, the paper will analyse the various ways that teachers and trainers can apply the concept of literacy to learning in vocational education and training. Some scholars refer to literacy, as the quality or state of being literate or simply being able to read and write. On the other hand, others associate literacy with creative writing or just having knowledge or competence. Moreover, other educational theorists introduce the aspect of visual literacy in understanding the concept of literacy. As such, they relate visual literacy to the ability to recognize and understand ideas conveyed through visible actions or images. However, according to the National Institute for Literacy, The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 defines literacy as “an individual's ability to read, write, speak in English, compute, and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society” (Valenzuela,2002). Additionally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization thinks there is more to literacy than just being a set of technical skills of reading, writing, and calculating (United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, 2012). We may need to consider the factors that influence the multiple understandings of this concept. Notably, academic research, institutional agendas, national context, cultural values, and personal experiences influence individuals understanding on the concept of literacy. Indeed, there are four discrete understandings of literacy that include literacy as an autonomous set of skills, literacy as text, literacy as a learning process, and literacy as applied, practised and situated (Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2006).The four understandings significantly incorporate almost all theoretical understandings of literacy. However, the most common understanding of literacy is as a set of cognitive skills that involve reading, writing, and oral skills. However, it is worth noting that despite the multiple definition of literacy, the literacy levels vary between the developed and developing nations. Indeed, the rate of literacy in the developed nations is much higher than in the developing nations. Nevertheless, there is a worldwide mission to eradicate illiteracy in the world. ... Read More
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