Taking a Blue Book Exam is a Social Practice According to Literacy Practices by David Barton and Mary Hamilton, literacy is a social practice. To explain this, Barton and Hamilton point out literacy Is how people discuss and interpret written text. Literacy practices are described to us by Barton and Hamilton as "in the simplest sense literacy practices are what people do with literacy" (8). Literacy practices eventually lead to literacy events which are defined as observable episodes which arise from practices and are shaped by them.
The notion of events stresses the situated nature of literacy and that it always exists in a social context" (8). Text Is crucial In molding our Institutions Into what they are and literacy is deeply rooted in our everyday lives in unexpected ways. In their essay, Barton and Hamilton present to us six propositions to further prove the nature of literacy as a social practice. Next, I will share a literacy event that adheres to two of those propositions. My first semester of college had started and I was feeling confident and determined to do well.
Although I was fresh out of high school. I didn't doubt my abilities. In all honesty, I underestimated the difficulty of college due to the college courses and advanced placement courses I'd taken throughout my high school career. It was a simple and short-lived time. Then, I was Introduced with a bluebook test. You see, multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, and true or false worked just fine for me. But when my history professor told us to buy a bluebook, I had no Idea what to expect. When I went hunting for this said bluebook, most people didn't even now what it was!
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I went to Walter, office supply stores, book stores, and no one knew what I was talking about Finally. I found one In the campus store and when I opened it, blank pages stared back at me. Even though we went over what was to be expected on the test in class, I was still concerned. How am I supposed to succeed at something so foreign to me? Well. I spent a lot of my time just studying the best I could. And then I had an idea. I took my extra bluebook (which I'd bought for my second exam in the course) and I took a list of topics and began writing.
The best way to see how to fill these pages with information is to do so without material in front of me as if I were taking the exam in my own home. Secondly, I went through my notes and asked myself the series of who, what. Where, when and why for each event. After discovering some new study tactics, I realized that not much had actually changed. The only deference between this dreaded bluebook test and a high school test Is that I have to communicate to my professor that know the material without a written medium such as a structured question.
Instead, I simply had to write down everything I know about the topic and hopefully point out the aspects and details There are two of the six propositions from Barton and Hamiltonians Literacy Practices that apply to this literacy event. The first is, "literacy practices are purposeful and embedded in broader social goals and cultural practices" (8). My goal is, of course, to get the best grade possible on this test. However, there is a broader goal that applies here as well. I want to do well in college and gain knowledge that could potentially be useful to me later in life.
The second proposition from Barton and Hamilton that applies to my literacy event is, "literacy practices change and new ones are acquired through process of informal learning and sense making" (8). By leaving high school and entering college, I am acquiring a new literacy. At first, I was mistaken by thinking college would be the same level of difficulty as high school and I later realized I needed to change and adapt in order to be successful in my new environment. A bluebook test is not the only aspect of college that was new to me. In fact, there are continuously new things for me to learn here.
Like the bus system, the campus alert system, being aware of traffic so I can predict my commute time, balancing a school schedule I'm not used to with my work schedule, trying to make friends with classmates, and even simply discovering the direction I really want to go in my life. Barton and Hamilton were right; I had acquired new literates and I had broader goals beyond that bluebook test. There are literacy practices, literacy events and those propositions prove true to me. Literacy is a social practice and I understand that now, thank you to Barton and Hamilton.
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