Lifestream, Evernote

On the important differences between literacies, skills and competencies.

edc17, metal-level process, literacies February 12, 2017 at 08:01PM

Following my reading of Stewart (2013), I wanted to explore the idea of literacy/literacies involving meta-level processes.

In the linked weblog post (the same one that Stewart referred to in her article), Belshaw expands on the idea of meta-level processes:

The important point to make here is that whilst competencies can be seen as ‘bundles of skills’, literacies cannot. You cannot become literate merely through skill acquisition – there are meta-level processes also required. To be literate requires an awareness that you are, indeed, literate.

That sounds a little weird, but it makes sense if you think it through. You may be unexpectedly competent in a given situation (because you have disparate skills you have pulled together for the first time). But I’m yet to be convinced that you could be unexpectedly literate in a given situation.

I need to think some more on this. I’m wondering about emergent literacy: generally we describe people as either literate or illiterate, but what is the tipping point? Generally, I sit in the “literacies as social practices” camp, so I support the notion that ‘being digitally literate is a condition of being able to make meaning as a social practice… via interaction with mediating technologies’ (Stewart, p. 232). However, Stewart adds ‘as a social practice and at a meta-level’ (my emphasis).

In order to make meaning of/with texts, do I need to be aware I’m making meaning? I guess you do. In the case of my visual artefact, I had doubts that anyone would be able to recognise what I was attempting to communicate, and hence felt ‘illiterate’ with that means of communication