Mapping Literacy Practices: Theory, Methodology, Methods

Jan. 20, 2007

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 20, Issue 1  January 2007 , pages 15 – 30.

The Literacies for Learning in Further Education (LfLFE) research project has been funded for three years from January 2004 as part of Phase 3 of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme in the UK. The project involves collaboration between two universities and four further education (FE) colleges.

The intention is to investigate students' everyday literacy practices and explore ways of mobilizing these to enhance their learning on college courses. The LfLFE project does not view literacy as a set of individual skills and competences alone, but as emergent and situated in particular social contexts (Barton et al., 2000). As such, literacy practices are not static or bounded spatially or temporally.

A central concern for the project is to understand how the literacy demands of college life and being a student relate to students' other literacy practices. As part of the work of the project, the group is undertaking a 'mapping' of the literacy demands associated with student learning across a wide range of FE courses. This paper explores the methodological debates in planning and operationalizing this mapping.

Updated: Feb. 11, 2008