Vol. 30 No. 3 (2014): Special Edition

This issue deals with aspects of literacy in the widest sense of the word. Barton & Hamilton (2000: 8) note that “Literacy is best understood as a set of social practices: these can be inferred from events which are mediated by written texts”. However, the term is used increasingly to refer to specific kinds of interpretive knowledge that may have little to do with reading or writing in the conventional sense; for example media literacy, financial literacy, scientific literacy, cultural literacy, workplace literacy, to name a few. Is there a shared understanding of what we mean by these uses of the term ‘literacy’? What do they have in common and what, if anything, do they have to do with literacy as a ‘set of social practices mediated by written texts’?
Published: 2015-02-02