Strengthening Europeans' capabilities by establishing the European literacy network
12.12.2014 - 11.12.2018
Capabilities are not only abilities that reside inside humans, but they also comprise the political, social, and economic environment. Literacy is a capability whose fulcrum is far away from the individual, depending crucially on societal forces that can hinder or promote human development. The efficiency of this promotion is critically constrained by the availability of accurate knowledge.
Knowing about literacy is contingent upon an interdisciplinary web of expertise that can, within a reasonable timeline, produce that sort of knowledge. Such networks already exist in Europe, but they need to be sustained so that they can face the demands of the new digital era. Through this Action, research communities in the field of literacy across Europe are joining, integrating their findings, and aligning their agendas so that they can: 1) develop an integrated and inclusive approach to foundational literacy across Europe; 2) devise a comprehensive framework of developmental aspects of literacy and education in a digital world; and 3) further improve literacy technologies. This will be valuable for promoting citizens’ interdependence, participation, and innovation, which are key assets to a united and diverse Europe. For that, Europe needs a literacy network via which the capabilities of all its citizens can be strengthened.
The scientific programme focuses on three broad research areas, which will be investigated by three Working Groups (WGs). Each of these WGs will share a set of common principles: (1) They will invite participants from both reading and writing research communities, as well as involve policy makers, practitioners, technology designers, and relevant stakeholders; (2) They will operate with an embracing definition of literacy as it is being redefined within a digital environment; (3) They will include explicit comparisons of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural differences among the 38 participating countries; (4) They will develop sharp recommendations for educational policy and practice, and, when relevant, for technological development; (5) They will be committed to developing the research skills of early stage and other researchers across the breadth of the participating countries; (6) They will secure a European Literacy Network that outlives the Action, and thus play an enduring role in strengthening European’s capabilities.
The three research areas will focus on:
(WG1) An integrated and inclusive approach to foundational
literacy across Europe;
(WG2) Developmental aspects of literacy and education in a digital world;
(WG3) Improving literacy technologies.
WG1 and WG2 correspond broadly to a division between the foundational processes involved in encoding and decoding written language and the higher level processes involved in writing extended text in a range of different contexts for a range of different purposes. WG3 will focus on the use of technology (and analytical techniques) to study literacy as well as to support and develop literate practices.
Please see the ELN webpage for further information: www.is1401eln.eu