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Literacy and the achievement gap

Geraldine McDonald

This paper challenges the belief that methods of teaching reading are the answer to raising age cohort standards of achievement, and that literacy, in the form of reading and writing, is based on spoken language. It is argued that documents, advising how to raise standards of literacy, have overlooked the way in which education systems work, and their relationship to large-scale testing, and have not considered methods which use real-life writing to establish literacy in young school children. The concept of a configuration of sites is presented as a way of understanding literacy in both its social and individual aspects, and for diverse population groups.

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