Today, we are showcasing an article from the ProLiteracy research journal Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy. The journal includes peer-reviewed articles plus other content of interest to the field to inform readers about best practices in adult basic and secondary education practices. The journal is available online here.
An excerpt of “Journeys of Transcultural Literacies: Working Toward Transformative Learning in Adult Literacy Education,” by Karen Magro, of The University of Winnipeg, is highlighted below. To read the full article, click here.
Transformative learning involves significant personal and social growth. Globalization, immigration, changes in socioeconomic patterns, geopolitical tensions, and advances in technology challenge teachers to understand and mobilize the changing dynamics, practices, and contexts of learning and literacy in more complex ways (Luke & Elkins, 2002). Transcultural literacies acknowledge multiple dimensions of literacy learning that build upon learners’ unique talents and aspirations. The use of powerful texts that highlight local and global themes can resonate with adult learners coming from diverse cultural backgrounds. Connections between transcultural literacies and dimensions of transformative learning are highlighted in this study.
This research study was motivated by my own observations of literacy and learning in a time of increased immigration and cultural diversity, and the reality that adult literacy classrooms should be reflecting these changes (Magro & Ghoryashi, 2011). Dagnino (2012) writes that “physical and virtual mobility has indeed become the main trope of societies characterized by ‘superdiversity’ and the dynamic interplay of alternative/ multiple modernities” (p.2). Along these lines, Pennycook (2007) defines transculturalism as “the fluidity cultural relations across global context” (p.91). Global flows, transnational interactions “loosen local populations from geographically constrained communities, connecting people and places around the globe in new and complex ways” (Miller, 2006, p.1). Miller suggests that these dynamic flows and mobilities open up new possibilities for a “worldwide” curriculum that disrupts the status quo and embraces plurality and social justice.