Literacies and their Investigation Through Theories and Models

Authored by: Norman J. Unrau , Donna E. Alvermann , Misty Sailors

Theoretical Models and Processes of Literacy

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138087262
eBook ISBN: 9781315110592
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315110592-2

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Abstract

Theory and theoretical models have the power to cast both light and shadow on our understanding of literacies. They exercise their powers not absolutely but on a continuum of degrees of illumination so that we sometimes receive from a theory only a narrow shaft of light that provides an insight into a literacy process, such as reading. Furthermore, the intensity of light that a narrow shaft provides varies. So a theory's powers to illuminate can rise or fall depending on our capacity to grasp a particular theory or model, its individual components, their interactions, the potential outcomes of those interactions, and its degree of relevance to the context we've applied it. In this sense, all theories are relative. Their explanatory powers fluctuate, depending on our ability to appreciate their assumptions, subtleties, and implications.

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