Thursday, October 22, 2009

Betty Bass vs. Barton and Farr

In her delightful synthesis of the two reading pieces, Betty Bass gives a concise and clear summary of the points Barton and the Hamiltons are making. First and foremost, the comparison between Lankshear's negative connotation of functional literacy and the views shared by Barton and company had a potent effect on me. Instead of looking at literacy as a single element, these authors suggest that there are many different (yet equally important) forms of literacy. The literacy one uses in the workplace, although different, is just as efficient as the literacy one utilizes with friends and family, colleagues, and other acquaintances. The literacy events people throw themselves into determines which form of literacy they will employ in the particular situation. In a sense, literacy becomes not only part of an individual, but instead focuses on the many different groups and circumstances obtainable by a group of individuals.
It appears that Miss Betty Bass is very interested in the situation with the Chicano Americans that are showcased in Farr’s document. She leaves us with a question at the end of her post: Should motivation only arise from an instance where a family member wants his or her child to have a better chance in life than their parents? It is almost sad to think that this is the only circumstance where a person would want to venture out and become more educated and literate. It is almost as if more fortunate people take their education for granted. Here, there are immigrants trying their absolute hardest to gain a further education while Americans here almost have education thrust upon them. It is a very difficult question to answer!
In the end, Betty Bass effectively leaves us with a thorough summary of the two authors’ work. Her subtle questions and comments at the end leave us to ponder about these arguments brought up in the text, and keep us thinking about the literature even when the assignment is finished! Great job!

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