Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Readers and Writers vs. Information Processors

I imagine pretty much nobody understands why the NCTE/21st Century Skills thing pisses me off as much as it does. First off, it might be helpful to know I've got a Masters in Teaching English from Brown, so this concerns the only discipline in which I have actual professional training, as opposed to, say, everything else I pontificate about.

Here's the nub of it: English teachers do not and should not believe that people "access and use information." That is not the way we think about the world, and it is not how the world works.

We believe that people read, write and create texts, signs, signifiers, culture. Perhaps you can argue that it is a semantic difference, but words matter, and if English teachers cannot be bothered to pay attention to their meaning, then why do we need English teachers?

No comments: