What Is Literacy?
For me this article meant a lot. I really understood and took to heart what it was talking about. As Robinson says, "We use the word literacy so often, and the related words literate and illiterate so easily, that it is hard for us to think of them as problematic terms-and yet they are." Robinson continues to say that "the words denote either absolute or at least easily identifiable states: one can read or one cannot; one can write or one is left with speech only." To me, these explanations are very simple. It makes sense that either one can read or not and that one can write or not. However, Robinson says that we have to use the terms "carefully and with consequence, as labels for people, the terms must be qualified carefully."
Later on in the article Robinson says, "literacy is precious when it is put to uses that are worth valuing." He also says, "to be reflectively literate in a humanely literate society is to understand that the term illiterate does not name an absence or a disability, but a place in the world in which one's actions have been both limited and limiting." Those quotes mean a lot and I think it is important for us to understand and live our lives by them. Just because someone cannot read, doesn't necessarily mean that they are illiterate. However, it does mean that they have had limits to how they can live their life. I think we need to understand this and use this concept when we go out and do our service learning.