Reading response for 11-15-2011

The piece by Brandt, in Writing about Writing, is actually very interesting in multiple ways. First there is the fact that the author is collecting data that looks at the “literacy crisis” through different lenses and situates the problem not with teachers or teaching but with the rapidly evolving nature of literacy (339). As previously noted, I consider data, and though this is not quantitative it is extensively qualitative, as an important tool for our discipline to attain more control over not only our PR but also our curriculum. This is a path that I hadn’t considered, probably because I didn’t look at literacy learning in quite this way – though it makes sense doing so now. This would be a good area for further study, which I find myself saying a lot in this class.

The second interesting aspect is the connection that is made between sponsorship and literacy. Looking at reading/writing and the way it is disseminated is another piece that makes the picture of writing instruction more complete. I thought this with last week’s critical reading focus, but I think each layer we look at makes the picture more complete (and makes the job I want to do as a composition teacher more difficult – how do you take all these things into consideration in so short a class time?) The focus on economy and relationships reminds me of Marxist theory, but I’m beginning to expect the multi-level reach of theory. Yet, theory can inform our discussion; in looking at the last section where the author talks about teaching and the expectations/ difficulties involved, it is notably similar to trying to work multiple socioeconomic systems together so more people can attain the “middle-class dream..” Overall, the first text was very interesting and made me take another look at both teaching literacy in a classroom and teaching literacy in my private life; how is this idea going to color my views of literacy learning for my niece and for myself in the future, for I am involved in learning literacy for my specific area of study as I write this.