Sustainable Literacies and the Ecology of Lifelong Learning.Report as inadecuate

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The New Literacy Studies (NLS) is an approach that places literacy in its wider context of institutional purposes and power relationships. The NLS has been suggested as offering a useful theoretical basis from which to proceed in developing sustainable lifelong learning in relation to literacy. The first of three issues related to this suggestion is the need to develop a more extensive empirical research base on the detail of literacy learning and use in local communities. This research should focus not just on individual learning histories but also on literacy practices within and between groups and communities. The second issue is the need to clarify underpinning notions of learning and knowing (both at the individual and the group level) that are at work in the NLS and how these relate to forms of knowing currently privileged by educational institutions. Notions should be developed of institutional or dominant literacies associated with formal organizations and of vernacular or self-generated literacies that have their origin in the purposes of everyday life. The third issue is the need to pay much more serious attention to the institutional processes whereby "truths" about literacy become translated into policy and practice--the intersection between policy and learning theory. (Contains 23 references.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Developed Nations, Educational Development, Educational Research, Foreign Countries, Learning Theories, Lifelong Learning, Literacy Education, Policy Formation, Public Policy, Research Needs, Research Utilization, Theory Practice Relationship

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Author: Hamilton, Mary


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