Literacy practices

Barton and Hamilton make six claims about literacy and literacy practices in their brief essay (an essay, that has had wide influence as scholars and practitioners have rethought how literacy functions in a wide range of contests). They include the following:

Literacy is best understood as a set of social practices; these can be inferred from events which are mediated by written texts.

There are different literacies associated with different domains of life.

Literacy practices are patterned by social institutions and power relationships, and some literacies are more dominant, visible and influential than others.

Literacy practices are purposeful and embedded in broader social goals and cultural practices.

Literacy is historically situated.

Literacy practices change and new ones are frequently acquired through processes of informal learning and sense making.

For this week’s dialogue, choose one of these six claims (taken from the chart on page two of their essay) and explore how it is or is not exemplified by your first workshop experiences and understanding of the writers you are working with.