Course Descriptions

TitleMultiple Literacies


This course is designed to prepare candidates with the deep theoretical knowledge necessary to understand the complex relationship between forms of literacy and students’ school achievement. Most importantly, candidates have the opportunity to explore ways of applying this understanding to the design of supportive classroom learning contexts. Drawing on research from anthropological, sociological, psychological, and linguistic perspectives, candidates examine socially and historically situated definitions of literacy and of what it means to be literate. How have definitions of literacy changed over time? How is literate behavior identified differently in different social contexts? How might these shifting definitions of literacy and literate behavior contribute to school success and school failure? Additionally, candidates engage in several instructional activities designed to help us connect these readings to their own ways of using multiple forms of literacy. These activities may include: participating in a dance workshop, attending an art museum exhibit, attending a live music performance, and attending a poetry reading (spoken word performance or “slam”).