Being literate: Then and now

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


One of the most significant changes in literacy education over the last twenty years is our understanding of literacy as literacies or multiliteracies. To be literate in today's world, you must be able to create, interpret and question 'oral, visual, audio, gestural, tactile and spatial patterns of meaning' (Kalantzis and Cope, 2012, p. 2). This has taken us way beyond the notions of reading, writing, listening and speaking as discrete areas of learning and highlighted the importance of multimodality and critical literacies. Technology has supported this process, making the creation, interpretation and dissemination of multimodal texts possible in ways not seen previously. The introduction of the Australian Curriculum has supported our understandings of contemporary literacies and provided the scaffold for teachers and schools to embrace literacies as tools for learning across all disciplines and life generally. However, it almost seems that in parallel to this shift in understanding of what it means to be literate in contemporary times, we have seen the introduction of high stakes testing, increased accountability and a 'back to basics' cry from the more conservative members of Australian society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-26
Number of pages1
JournalPractical Literacy: the early and primary years
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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