Literacy and Culture

In this module, we will explore the metaphors we use in our definitions of literacy. We will then explore how these traditions play out in the language arts classroom.


  • Trace the theoretical underpinnings of literary practices found in the language arts classroom.
  • Annotate texts to identify key ideas, evaluate claims, draw conclusions and judge evidence used by an author.
  • Create multimodal responses and/or remixes to describe major perspectives for conceptualizing literacy processes and practices.


A Historical Perspective on Reading Research and Practice. This first reading provides a central overview on the history of literacy research.

Rosenshine, B. (1986). Synthesis of research on explicit teaching. Educational Leadership, 43, 60-64.. This reading demonstrates cognitive learning theories in practice.

Heath, S.B. (1982). What no bedtime story means. Language in Society, 11, 49-76.. In this article the author explores the development of language and considers literacy as a social practice.


You will post a reply to the assigned class leader this week (Dr. McVerry). Then you will interact by reinforcing and challenging the ideas of your peers.

You will choose two of the three tasks listed below. Everyone will read and annotate “Historical Perspectives. You then read the two texts that correspond to the task you choose below. Annotation is optional.

  • Find and critique a video of a comprehension strategy instruction lesson and a phonics lesson. Identify key assumptions of cognitivism in the lessons. Post your reflection to the Stream
  • Create an infographic exploring the ways in which we make meaning both in and out of school. Describe key assumptions of socio-culturalism in your visual representation. Share your reflection on the Stream
  • Use the lego-gender remixer. Then take a critical stance on how texts can shape power, gender, and identity. Use the texts to justify your position.Share your reflection as a blog post or to the Stream