Literacy, learning and identity: challenging the neo-liberal agenda through literacies, everyday practices and empowerment

Vicky Duckworth, angela brzeski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the UK, further education (FE) colleges play a key role in providing literacy programmes. This article draws upon our research in FE, with a focus on literacy, learning and identity, to explore how different learners are positioned differently depending on the value of the literacy practices they bring with them from home. Indeed, it is generally considered that recognising the literacies that learners bring into the classroom is an effective strategy to teaching and learning because purposeful and meaningful learning builds and expands on learners’ prior knowledge and experience to shape and construct new knowledge rather than seeing the learner as an empty vessel ready to be filled by the tutor. Learning is seen as a social activity embedded in particular cultures and contexts where assessment is based on the learners demonstrating competence in achieving specific learning outcomes. The achievement of these learning outcomes is situated in the learners’ real life and everyday practices. The paper concludes that New Literacy Studies and critical approaches to education are important to challenging prescriptive pre-set curriculum literacies driven by a Neoliberalism agenda and to empowering learners in and out of the classroom. Keywords: literacy; practices; identity; learning; empowerment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2015

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