Today’s chapters from The Way Literacy Lives present a more detailed and scholarly discussion about the justification of rhetorical dexterity. In Chapter 4, Carter combines the new literacy theory and her analysis of a case study. This case study is her brother’s schooling experience. In this way, she shows us that pedagogy of literacy separates traditional literacy (in-school) and non-traditional literacy (out-of school). Through her case study on her brother’s schooling experience, she presents the fact that this separation did not work on her brother, since he could not connect traditional literacy with his literacy. In Carter’s term, he could not find the “point of contact”. In addition, in this chapter, her analysis of two works, Deborah Brandt’s Literacy in American Lives and Cynthia Selfe and Gail Hawisher’s Literate Lives in the Information Age, help her to prove the fact that out-of school literacies are changing really fast, which means that students’ own literacies are changing too, since their literacy is alive. In school, while traditional literacy is taught, as teachers we lose connection with students’ literacies, and they cannot connect their literacy to in-school literacy to understand it. Also, through her case studies in this chapter, Carter talks about “meta-awareness”. She presents the idea that meta-awareness is central in any kind of literacy participation, and it makes literacy available for students (especially basic writers).
In Chapter 5, Carter presents a broader definition of literacy which allows students to make connection between previous and present literacies. Chapter 6 presents another definition: rhetorical dexterity. By defining rhetorical dexterity, and its pedagogy, Carter suggests a curriculum which includes six writing assignments to create a metacognition in students to be aware of their multiple literacies. Through these writing assignments, students will be able to work on different genres by being able to insert their own literacy into their works. In this way, they learn both traditional litrecay, and find a way to connect it to their own literacy.
Throughout these chapters, and throughout her whole book, the most important thing Craters dies both for teachers and students is to show the importance of one's own literacy. Learning traditional literacy is important, yet if this causes individuals to ignore their own literacy, then traditional literacy education fails on them. Students should be able to find connections between their own literacy and traditional literacy to foster a better understanding and literacy in themselves.