This paper will serve as a position statement on my beliefs in regard to the teaching of literacy. It begins by outlining particular pedagogical beliefs and connects them to theory. Following this, it discusses in detail the particular classroom practices that will be initiated in my programming as a result of these beliefs.
For students to gain skills that enable them to function successfully in society, the acquisition of literacy skills must serve as a firm foundation in the construction of the classroom.
If the aim is for students to be as "functional" as possible, then it is of natural progression that a genre, or functional theory be applied. This approach will be the most productive in the quest to provide a holistic classroom as well as for the functional literacy requirements of its" students. .
The statement that " Teaching and learning of literacy is not just a matter of skill acquisition or knowledge transition, rather it is more about building identities and cultures, communities and institutions." (Freebody, Luke, 1999, p.1) is one that goes hand in hand with a functional approach. This statement recognises the broad range of languages and texts that one encounters in society, as well as the social implications that surround them. It is then necessary to teach literacy skills appropriate to this reality. .
A further reason for my attraction to a functional pedagogy is because it emphasises content, structure and sequence in learning literacy. It values the idea of immersing the students in a particular genre to find the true meaning that is connected to its" purpose. If they are made familiar with these literate practices through explicit teaching the students will be better equipped to function in society. .
At this point, I must state that the idea of there being no "magic bullets" is another I strongly agree with. This notion as outlined by Freebody and Luke (1991), suggests that no one single literacy theory is completely correct.