Friday, August 21, 2009

Topic: Our Schools are "stuck in the mud."

10-second review: Nothing much has changed in our schools in the twenty-first century.

Title: “Shaping New Literacies Research: Extrapolations from a Review of The Handbook of Research on New Literacies.RJ Tierney. Reading Research Quarterly (July/August/September 2009), 322-339. A publication of the International Reading Association (NCTE).


(1) “In North America, paper and pen technologies still dominate….

(2) “Inside-the-head versus social models of learning guide teaching and testing….

(3) “Print seems to remain more privileged than images….

(4) “And apart from keyboarding and the use of a few other tools of technology…the technology changes that are contributing to changes in our lives outside of school are not occurring within the confines of our classroom or school lives.” p. 338.

Comment. Some quick responses:

(1) The reason we’re using paper and pen technologies is that students need experience with all forms of communication technologies. Also, they are technologies that are still comfortable for many people. When I know what I am going to talk about, I use word processing. When I don’t know what I am going to say, I use yellow pads and pencil. I still think that the best purpose for word processing is for genres (memos) that don’t take much thinking or in revising and editing of serious communications.

(2) Someone is going to have to prove to me that “social learning” is more important than inside-the-head (individual) learning and producing in society.

(3) Images will never be superior to print for the communication of ideas. Images support the ideas in print.

(4) Someone always wants to replace reasoned discourse with the latest technology—forget the organization of expository writing and substitute in writing class texting, twittering and e-mails with carelessly organized, sloppy diction and grammar, the very opposite of thoughtful writing. RayS.

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