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  3. Literacy, Power and Learning

Literacy, Power and Learning (EDUC20081)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeEDUC20081
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will explore the nexus between literacy, power and learning through a study of ways in which literacy education can empower individuals and groups and facilitate positive social change. The educational and societal significance of multi-modal literacies will be investigated, drawing on current institutional practices and historical examples. The influence of the socio-cultural context in developing literacy capabilities will be examined, along with relevant theoretical frameworks of teaching and learning, including the discourses of Critical Pedagogy. This subject will explore the reading, writing and speaking pedagogical practices that are mobilised to facilitate social change.

As texts represent the dynamic between literacy and power, the social control of texts through means such as censorship, propaganda and the selection of curriculum material in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions will be examined. Investigation of the relationship between power, social control of access to education and the development of literacy competency will be underpinned by the conception of literacy as a social practice. The notion of ‘dangerous’ reading, ‘dangerous’ writing and ‘dangerous’ speaking will be explored through critical engagement with a range of text types, including written, visual and oral material.

Key questions students will explore in the course will include:

How is literacy enabled or controlled by societies and cultures?

How does literacy empower and shape you as a learner?

What kinds of literacies are needed to access the power of learning in contemporary society?

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Understand the concept of multiple literacies in contemporary education and cultures
  • Understand the importance of multiple perspectives and evidence in the interpretation of texts
  • Analyse a range of contemporary and historical text types including written, visual, oral and digital media
  • Understand the connections between contemporary literacy practices, education and the cultural negotiation of power
  • Apply this knowledge to their own multi-disciplinary learning

Generic skills

This subject will assist students to develop the following set of transferable skills:

  • problem-solving and analysis
  • critical thinking
  • advanced written and oral communication
  • understanding of real world application of theoretical concepts

Last updated: 10 August 2019