‘A little literacy’ can lead to dangerous false conclusions
A little literacy is definitely better than no literacy, but a little literacy may also have some dangerous aspects if it leads to false conclusions. Literacy has much to do with our culture and what we value in life. There is technology literacy, computer literacy, survival literacy, job literacy, professional literacy, fine arts literacy, academic literacy, classical literacy, etc. Literacy means we are able to read and write to a competent level on a given subject, which includes both knowledge and considerable thinking on that subject.
So when can I call myself literate? I don’t believe I can. I say I am on my way to literacy and I really didn’t do well today, or I made great strides today. Literacy is not a stopping place. Literacy is continually learning, continually opening up to new ideas, and continually reading what others say. Dave Hon’s Sept. 6 article about “feet off my desk” gave me a bite of history, and it also caused me to think. Literacy is an ongoing process of reading and learning, agreeing and disagreeing — plus being able to say why in either case.
A person is considered partially literate when he is able to function comfortably in all the different branches of literacy. Becoming a little literate in all fields is needed in modern life. Becoming more literate in other fields is also essential in modern life. Lifelong learning not only keeps us from being bored, but keeps us mentally healthy. Lifelong learning includes practical knowledge, hands on experiences, and learning from reading and writing. In other words, unless we interact with what we know, we are not becoming literate.
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