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Perspectives on Literacy in Education - EDU00008H

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Clementine Beauvais
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18

Module aims

This module covers educational, social and cultural aspects of literacy. The first part of the module maps what it means to be a literate person, and the educational stakes of literacy, including assessment. The second part looks at the inscription of literacy practices within specific sociocultural contexts, and explores the plurality of contemporary literacies. The third part of the module focuses on three case studies of literacy enhancement in para-educational contexts.

The main aim of the module is to understand the social embeddedness and the variety of literacy practices, the better to understand the centrality of that skill in education.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content – after completing this module, students should:

  • Understand what it means to be a literate person, and the individual and social processes behind that skill

  • Be familiar with contemporary forms of literacy beyond the written word

  • Have in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of literacy and their cultivation and assessment through education

  • Have a critical understanding of various theories and conceptualisations of literacy and of their historical evolution

  • Be able to reflect sophisticatedly about the social and cultural prejudices and advantages associated with specific forms of literacy

  • Be able to think of non-traditional or creative ways to enhance literacy both within and outside of the classroom

Academic and graduate skills – students will:

  • Develop their research and analytical skills with preparations and reading for each session

  • Develop their communication skills with opportunities to present to the class

  • Critically evaluate their own experiences and development in the light of the knowledge garnered in class

  • Be able to write and think about, should they wish to do so, potential applications of the course in future teaching practices

  • Develop IT skills with the VLE

Module content




What is Literacy?


Cognitive Approaches and Phonics


New Literacy Studies


Literacy and Identity


Visual Literacy


Media and Critical Literacy


Assessing Literacy


Literacy in Practice: A Case Study


Revision Session


Task Length % of module mark
5000 Word Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
5000 Word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Individual written feedback reports with follow-up tutor discussion if necessary. The written feedback and marks are returned to students within six weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Key texts

Davis, A. (2013). To read or not to read: decoding Synthetic Phonics. Impact, 2013(20), 1-38.

Macedo, D. and Steinberg, S. R. (eds.) (2007) Media literacy: a reader. New York and Oxford: Peter Lang. D 1.243 MAC

Olson, D. R., & Torrance, N. (2009). The Cambridge Handbook of Literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. K 0.93 CAM

Spufford, F. (2003). The child that books built: A life in reading. London: Faber. M 38.068 SPU

Reading is provided every week and in an overall bibliography at the end of the course outline.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.