In my (Clare) literacy grad course this past semester I had a group of amazing students — smart, experienced, caring, thoughtful, and inquisitive. They were truly a joy! One of the students named us the Literacy Community. For the final product for the course the students were encouraged to do “something” meaningful for them and they could use any modality they wanted. One of the students Jason Gregor did an amazing paper which traces his journey from being a science enthusiast who did not value literacy to a strong advocate for literacy. His paper was so insightful I asked him if I could post in on our blog because those of us in teacher ed will relate to folks like Jason who slowly come to realize the place of literacy in teaching. Thanks Jason for letting me share your paper with the broader education community. Below is an excerpt from the paper and here is the link for the entire paper. Enjoy! JasonEssay
Why literacy is so important
I never truly understood the hype around literacy. It seemed to be the biggest thing in the education system. As someone who did not like English very much and was much more focused on science, I felt that it kind of got all the limelight. Now however, I realize that I was wrong. I was dead wrong. While recently working on my final project of graduate school (I’m done much to my chagrin!) I took the opportunity to reflect on my experiences with literacy and how they have shaped the way that I viewed it (in a much skewed way). Thanks to Dr. Clare Kosnik and the two classes I took with her though, I have found that I was very wrong. Literacy is the most important area for education. Without literacy, you’ve got nothing! For this reason, I have become much more engaged with literacy education and feel very strongly towards it. Sure science is important, but without literacy, well, you wouldn’t be reading this right now! So, moral of the story, even the most disengaged, no matter what level they are at, be it student or teacher, can be motivated to re-engage with literacy. It’s never too late. Take it from me, I’ve been there.