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Feature of the month | August 2011

Events pertaining to literacy and essential skills are ideal venues from which to inform and continue the national dialogue on issues that involve all Canadians in one way or another.

Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Halifax will host a series of speakers, workshops and public events this fall and next winter that will examine the question: “How do we read the world?”

Titled ‘Literacy as Ways of Knowing,’ the series will explore the many ways literacy is interpreted, how it is defined, what it looks and sounds like, and how various forms and mediums of literacy affect our lives. The series will also examine what new actions and partnerships can be developed to promote literacy across communities.

“Sessions will cover the latest research, and will speak to our roles as educators, students, researchers and citizens in how we create and perceive the texts, contexts and sub-texts of daily life,” says Jim Sharpe, dean of education at MSVU. Dr. Sharpe is co-chairing the series with Ardra Cole, associate vice-president, academic and research.

‘Literacy as Ways of Knowing’ has been planned in partnership with a number of university and community organizations with a goal of fostering diverse understandings of literacy. Each session will welcome participation from practitioners, policy-makers and members of the broader community with a special interest in literacy.

The series will launch September 15 with a public presentation by internationally renowned literacy educator and author Jerry Harste. Dr. Harste will trace the evolution and expansion of the notion of literacy from reading and writing words to socio-cultural discourse practices.

Other dates:

  • September 24: Family Literacy Symposium
  • October 27: Trans-literacy: Information Literacy, Digital Fluencies and Pedagogical Strategies

On November 1, guest speaker Robyn Ewing will speak on making the case for the arts in schools.  Dr. Ewing will present and review existing research on the uses of various arts for learning, inclusion and social justice.

  • November 3: Making Way for the Arts in Schools
  • November 24: Open Mic in Many Languages

To view the fall schedule in more detail, go to http://www.msvu.ca/en/home/aboutus/WhatsHappening/literacyseries/default.aspx. Winter dates have yet to be announced.

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