Complicating the Complex – Purcell-Gates (Ed) Ch 1

Trainee tutors may come to their CPD programme with a focussed desire to develop strategies fir teaching literacy more effectively and as such may experience a wider discussion of what literacy is to be a time wasting indulgence. Yet there has been significant shift over the past 20 years in conceptualizing literacy. This has profound implications: what literacy is must inevitably lead to theoretical and pedagogical debate over how people become literate. 


Dominant discourses are perpetuated and reproduced through official institutions of schooling which control access to cultural and social capital (Bourdieu 2001). This double discourse / power loop – denies marginalized groups access to privileged discourses, while convincing those same groups that these are the only legitimate discourses. The discourse associated with marginalized groups are denied legitimacy and capital.


So this is an exploration of how these two ideas co-exist. A theoretical investigation. 

  • two circles  – few inches apart – completely different – the shift between them is based on space & time
  • two overlapping circles – as in the Venn diagram
  • two circles – inches apart with the circle overlay – third space
  • two concentric circles skills at bottom with practices on top (representing a small aspect of skills)
  • two concentric circles with practices at bottom with Skills in top – representing a shell that prohibits the emergence of fully functional literacy
  • Venn diagram but with multiple literacies – literacy within each distinct domain – with the area of overlap representing skills
  • a triangle – on its side – lines pointing in a single direction: the point represents skills but this is fractured by a multiplicity once 
  • the ladder
  • the straight line as a continuum
These ideas need referencing and image.
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