Friday, September 26, 2008
Functional literacy is the ability to read and writ well enough to function in one's society, for example: filling out job applications, being able to order food from a menu, or understanding a train schedule.
I don't know if there's a term for a higher level of literacy that I've been butting my head against. Higher sciences, the military, and 1334 speak. People do talk of scientific literacy and math literacy.
I wonder if literacy will become stratified like Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. I wonder if we will think of ourselves as having multiple literacies. I hope not. It's the same skill. And it's just a means to an end - it's a way to acquire knowledge.
Literacy isn't a stopping point. Literacy is when you get dropped into an overwhelming world of books, websites, magazines, job descriptions, computer code, and IM speak, and someone says "go."