Chasing Literacy

Chasing Literacy: Reading and Writing in an Age of Acceleration

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Chasing Literacy
    Book Description:

    Arguing that composition should renew its interest in reading pedagogy and research,Chasing Literacyoffers writing instructors and literacy scholars a framework for understanding and responding to the challenges posed by the proliferation of interactive and multimodal communication technologies in the twenty-first century.

    Employing case-study research of student reading practices, Keller explores reading-writing connections in new media contexts. He identifies a culture of acceleration-a gathering of social, educational, economic, and technological forces that reinforce the values of speed, efficiency, and change-and challenges educators to balance new "faster" literacies with traditional "slower" literacies. In addition, Keller details four significant features of contemporary literacy that emerged from his research: accumulation and curricular choices; literacy perceptions; speeds of rhetoric; and speeds of reading.

    Chasing Literacyoutlines a new reading pedagogy that will help students gain versatile, dexterous approaches to both reading and writing and makes a significant contribution to this emerging area of interest in composition theory and practice.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-933-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. 1-15)

    Chasing Literacyargues that composition should renew its interest in reading pedagogy and research. Composition scholars have recognized how the proliferation of interactive and multi-modal communication technologies has changed what it means to write in the twenty-first century. However, the counterpart to this phenomenon, changes in the purposes and forms of reading practices, has been largely unexamined by the field. This book moves toward relocating reading’s place in composition with research that examines the opportunities and challenges of contemporary literacy contexts: navigating various technologies, shifting among genres and media, making meaning from a wealth of information, and alternating between reading...

    (pp. 16-38)

    David and Diana could not have been more different as high school students: David struggled in many of his classes, especially when it came to reading. He passed with average grades, and he had to work to achieve those average grades. In classes that involved reading, David was quiet and lacked confidence. As David put it, “I’m bad at reading. I don’t know if I need more vocabulary or a speed reading course, but I don’t like it, and I’m not good at it. Others [read] faster and get more out of it than I do.” Diana, on the other...

    (pp. 39-66)

    Composition prides itself on being student-centered. Much of our rhetoric and our practice focuses on “meeting students where they are,” keeping up with changes occurring in literacy practices outside of formal education, and including students’ literacies in our classrooms to create a more interactive, hybrid learning space. The accumulation of literacies, particularly literacies associated with communication technologies, has given teachers more opportunities to meet students where they are, to tap into the experiences and interests of students. In the past, this meant classrooms engaged in hypertext, e-mail, and MUDs (multi-user domains). More recently, classrooms have shifted to include assignments involving...

    (pp. 67-98)

    Lauren read “tons of magazines”: the print and online versions ofCosmopolitan,Time,Tennis, andEntertainment Weekly. Every day she sent dozens of text messages and checked in with her social networking profiles. She consulted “various websites about sports, about health tips and working out, learning better ways to exercise and get physically ready [for games].” Although her parents “are perfectly adequate with knowing how to work the Internet,” she still helped out sometimes: “I’m just faster and less thrown off by pop-ups, and I’ve helped out with things, like hotel[s] and flights and renting cars.” When she and her...

  8. 4 DIRECTING ATTENTION: Multitasking, Foraging, Oscillating
    (pp. 99-126)

    David has a multimedia coffee table. On the couch, he’s within reach of a cell phone, iPod, Superman comic,Car and Drivermagazine, the newspaper, John Grisham’sBleachers, an Xbox wireless controller, and the remote to a big-screen TV. I can barely see the glass top of the table underneath the layers of media. As we talk about his reading practices, ESPN mutely flashes text and statistics and talking heads on TV, his cell phone vibrates on the glass countertop three times with text messages from friends, and he plays the Internet gameFish Eat Fishon his laptop, which...

    (pp. 127-152)

    Julia once again took time after school to talk to me about the high school, her students, and her teaching experiences. As she moved stacks of student papers on her desk, one stack tumbled and sheets fanned out, black print on white paper. Scanning the fallen stack, I saw the usual: essays about Shakespeare and Hemingway, reports and proposals and analyses. Amidst some business proposal assignments, I saw a page with color and graphics.

    Noting my interest, Julia handed the proposal to me. “That’s great, isn’t it? I think she’s proposing a nightclub for teenagers in that.”

    The proposal showed...

    (pp. 153-169)

    What does it mean to be a reader in the twenty-first century? One goal of this book has been to gain more insight into the challenges and opportunities for literacy learners in a time of accumulation and acceleration. As literacies accumulate, readers encounter both an increasing number of texts and wide variation in how those texts are packaged in genres and delivered through media. When confronted with a staggering number of texts, readers must respond with filtering strategies and tools to direct their limited time and attention wisely. With the great variety of textual shapes, they also must learn to...

    (pp. 170-173)
    (pp. 174-184)
    (pp. 185-186)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 187-193)