Ecological Approaches to Literacy Research

Authored by: Sue Nichols

The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415816243
eBook ISBN: 9781315717647
Adobe ISBN: 9781317510611


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It is now nearly twenty years since literacy scholar David Barton (1994, 2007) first called for researchers in the field to adopt what he called the “ecological metaphor” to conceptualise literacy as “embedded in other human activity … in social life and thought and … history” (Barton 2007: 32). The term ‘ecology’ is now so commonplace in everyday, as well as scholarly, discourse that users often see no need to define it. It can stand for everything that is going on around an object of focus, such as a literacy practice, and generally signals an inclusive, holistic orientation to investigation and social action.

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