A Critical Discussion of the ‘New Literacy Studies’

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This paper examines ideas which underpin the ‘New Literacy Studies’, including Street’s critique of the ‘autonomous model’ of literacy. Through a re-examination of the work of Scribner and Cole, the implication that literacy is not related to cognitive development is questioned. Gee's critique of linguistic prescription is discussed. Drawing on action research perspectives, which argue that educational theory concerns the identification of educational problems and values, an approach to literacy for education is proposed.

Keywords: cognitive development; literacy; relativism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8527.t01-1-00130

Affiliations: Department of Educational Studies, University of Sheffield

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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