Literacy and social inclusion in the 21st century

Thomson, Jane (2009) Literacy and social inclusion in the 21st century. A Journal of Youth Work, 1 (3). pp. 43-59. ISSN 1469-0780

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In the 21st century, literacy includes reading and writing with digital technologies and this brings about new understanding about the ways we communicate and make meaning. Many children are practiced consumers of digital technologies but many schools remain steadfast in their commitment to traditional print and this can impact on children who have little access to digital technologies or children who can’t ‘do’ traditional literacies. I argue that new ways with words and new ways of thinking are crucial determinants of engaged and successful learners. I conclude that schools should to redefine their conception of literacy and associated pedagogies to connect to the lives that children are living and offer authentic and realistic opportunities for young people to remain engaged thereby halting disaffection with literacy learning.