I shared with them my thoughts on "Why Johnny and Janey Can't Read, and Why Mr. and Ms. Smith Can't Teach: The challenge of multiple media literacies in tumultuous times." The talk traced the thinking of the Toronto School of Communication. In doing so, I
introduce the notion that our beloved literacy is now nothing but a quaint notion, an aesthetic form that is as irrelevant to the real questions and issues of pedagogy today as is recited poetry – clearly not devoid of value, but equally no longer the structuring force of society. I will ask you to consider that our society’s obsessive focus on literacy would doom future generations to oblivion and ignorance, if only they cared a whit about what, and how, we think. Further, I am going to challenge the assumptive ground upon which our institutions of education – primary, secondary and tertiary – are built, and raise the real question of our time – and of any time – namely, what is valued as knowledge, who decides, and who is valued as authority.The folks who attended were an attentive and engaged audience, asking many thought-provoking questions after the lecture, and raising many important issues for our time. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, as I hope they did too.
As with almost all my stuff, it's available for download [pdf] and reuse under a Creative Commons license.
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