Saturday, August 15, 2009

Continuing the Conversation

What is the conversation of which we so glibly speak? What exactly is the content, who is speaking, what are the salient points in this conversation?
If you're not "in the conversation" do you know the answers to these questions?
If you belong to Diigo and you go to this page --> and scroll down, you will see just a glimpse of this so-called 'conversation'. There in several colors are other people comments. These are comments on the composition, not the spelling or capitalization, or things we teachers often see. These are reflective thoughts, generated because something resonated within while reading the text. These are extensions, conversations, thoughts to ponder. This is the conversation of which I speak. This is where I take my middle school students, so why not the adults who surround them?
Literacy as been mistaken for skill in reading and writing in schools. Literacy is communicating and comprehending using a medium. That medium could be dance [I think ballet, but why not other forms of dance as well?], theatre [I think opera, but why not Broadway, offBroadway, and other forms?], art [Sistine chapel here, but that's me...], music [quartets in my book-I'm old fashioned], or literature. The art of composition remains the same just the medium differs.
Opinions, outrages, reactions? Comment them all and enter the conversation anywhere online....

Photo courtesy of eggman covered under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic license available at

1 comment:

Angela Maiers said...

You are spot on! Literacy "in school" is viewed by students (and some teachers) as an act of consumption. Hear it/hold it and read it/remember it has become the gold standard for literacy.

Regardless of medium, mode, content or grade- "real literacy" has and will always be about the power of communication, conversation, and connections. All students should be invited to join the conversation as both consumers and producers of the message!