Through my research for the presentation for this class, I noticed something that kind of surprised me. The word ‘literacy’ is chiefly used as either a base-line for competency or as a marker for what is lacking. It’s really interesting that while it has been obvious for a long time that public school systems are graduating students who are “competent” enough to achieve whatever standards have been put in place, many of those students lack “Literacy” – the ability to function in and understand the world.
Perhaps public school systems should revisit their use of the word literacy itself. If public school systems (for the most part) merely define literacy as a base-line for competency or the achievement of a passing score on a multitude of standardized tests, how exactly is it that they hope to produce well-rounded students who are prepared to live in and understand the world?
Knowledge is important. Learning about the past, learning scientific facts and theories, mathematical equations and formulas are important and help to create a well-rounded knowledge base. However, public school systems must begin to realize that individual literacies contribute to Literacy.
Passing a test proving that one possesses individual literacies does not prove that one is literate.