Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is Social Literacy?

This website was designed to help teachers, students, and families to become aware of social literacy. Social literacy is the development of social skills in a social setting, which helps people to communicate in a respectful manner, as well as becoming involved in a community. This type of literacy helps to “manage play props and roles, support emotional well-being among participants, and facilitate collaboration” (Journal of Research in Childhood Education). It’s very important that when in a classroom, the students understand the norms and expected behaviors of one another so that they can build cooperation amongst each other, as well as positive social dispositions.

When I first started researching “literacy,” I assumed it only meant reading and writing. Yet, there are several definitions now that talk about the reading, writing, speaking, and communication aspects of it, as well as literacy always changing depending on the context we are in. For social literacy, it will continue to change based on the society we’re living in. It’s about learning to be respectful to one another and being able to express our thoughts and emotions. It’s through nonverbal and verbal cues that students begin to learn about others around them.

Social literacy starts at a very young age when children begin to communicate. “Communication and the sharing of information, experience, and expertise is literally at students’ fingertips —and they know it! As they integrate [technologies] into their lives, new kinds of communities are emerging, new cultural norms and boundaries are solidifying, and new kinds of crime, poverty, and warfare are developing” (http://nflrc.iastate.edu/news/200601/homepage.html). I definitely agree with this quote. Technology is starting to be used more throughout school systems. It also is making it easier for students to speak to other students from around the world, as well as find information faster. By having the technology, the students are opened to a larger world of communication and information from different places.

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