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Literacy has been characterized in a variety of forms, some of which are inconsistent. Any literacy concepts are based on people's need to negotiate daily life, schooling, social contact, and job skills. Other social meanings provide unique viewpoints that motivate groups to confront the status quo. Literacy research has also progressed in recent years. The paper addresses literacy growth from a skills-based, technology-based, outdoor literacy, and social activity perspective.
Previously, pupils were considered literate if they demonstrated knowledge of algebra, drawing, and reading. In contemporary society, “being literate” is complicated as the concept of literacy extends into numerous fields. People are mastering the ever-expanding and changing list of skills in the 21st century. Skill-based instruction is about assessing, implementing, as well as planning literacy skills. Therefore, a good amount of time is dedicated to evaluating, committing, and reflecting on skills. Skills-based literacy in today’s world is taught through critical thinking, analysis of ideas, writing and speaking with insight and complexity unlike in the past where it was indicated as mastery of arithmetic, writing, and reading. Content knowledge is critical and the focus in skills-based literacy is to develop independent readers and thinkers using reading, speaking, and writing skills.
Technology literacy was in the past determined by an individual’s ability to use fax machines and the post address. An individual’s capacity to use computers efficiently and quickly to communicate and gather information is used to measure technological literacy in the current world. In addition, the skills of writing and reading are dependent upon technology literacy. An individual must be in a position to send and receive data as well as know how to use a word processor to write so as to be considered technological literate. Technology literacy has not only changed in the needs and expectations of the readers, but also in publishing knowledge.
In recent years, outdoor learning has become more prevalent. The number of outdoor kindergartens and preschools appear to be increasing worldwide. In other words, a lot of change has taken place from traditional indoor schooling to outdoor literacy. The shift experienced from traditional indoor learning to outdoor literacy has largely been as a result of an increasingly digital world with the advent of tablets, smartphones, as well as children’s digital gaming. In both learning and leisure contexts, children are spending more hours in a day in front of screens unlike in the past where children used more time outside. Therefore, children in today’s world have limited opportunities to experience imaginative and freedom activities which come from outdoor play.
A set of flexible skills has been instilled in me through skills-based literacy. Skills-based learning describes the knowledge I need to select and the progression of skills. For instance, I have switched to thinking “Would fractions be a good context for me to develop perseverance and resilience” from “What activity shall I use to understand more about fractions.” Technology literacy has also changed the manner in which I get educational resources, access teacher’s comments and assignments via web, and emails. Inquiry based projects get me thinking rather than memorizing and has also helped me to connect with students from other schools and collaborate with them. Further, outdoor literacy has brought topical or real-life elements in teaching to the fore by getting to grips with taught concepts in a nature setting. Outdoor literacy has also helped develop an interest in the environment and wider surroundings hence boosting my classroom work.
Social Practice View of Literacy
There is a growing consciousness of literacy as social practice than as an array of skills an individual has. Literacy is not what people learn, but what people do. Literacy is in other words about applying the knowledge in specific areas for specific contexts of use. Literacy is a social activity since individuals using literacy practices form social network which with exchange of skills and knowledge serve as resources of learning. For instance, the parts of social networks formed treat people as equals and not as “illiterates and literates.” In socio-cultural method, non-literate individuals in both skills-based literacy and technology literacy take part in the practices of literacy in their specific communities like people with progressive literacy expertise take part in non-literate practices.
Consequently, literacy is always contextualised, situated within a specific socio-cultural background. There is no one form of literacy which is universally applicable. Therefore, there are various literacy practices and literacies for a number of groups like occupational groups, different institutional and social contexts, and different kinds of activities like education and religion. Therefore, the social practice of outdoor and skills-based literacies differs with the kinds of activities, institutional and social contexts, as well as groups. For instance, the skills and knowledge instilled in a doctor is different with those of an engineer since they belong to two different groups. Physician literacy is based within medical practices context while engineering literacies are grounded on the performance tasks of engineers.
Lastly, what people do with writing and reading is what is referred to as literacy. The learning of new literacy practices and teaching-learning skills are not excluded in the idea of literacy as social practice. Further, an outdoor classroom is a dynamic, textured, wondrous locale for imaginative play. Students work together to attribute meaning to diverse items as well as assimilate them into their learning. Outdoor literacy develops skills in all areas of the curriculum.
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