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Syllabus

Syllabus

English 632: Theories of Literacy
Spring 2019
Dr. Kim Jaxon
Mondays, 5:30-8:20, in ARTS 306A

Email: kjaxon@csuchico.edu
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/drjaxon

Office Hours: Thursdays 1:00-3:00pm and by appointment (ARTS 262)

Course Description

This course is an introduction to literacy and learning theory. Drawing on research from disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, and education, we will examine such fundamental questions as: What is the nature of literacy? What is the relationship between language and thought? Between literacy and learning? What is the relationship between literacy and schooling? And what is the relationship between literacy and social, economic, political development, and even happiness?

We will work toward an understanding of literacy as enabling rather than causal, as embedded within society, and as depending for its meaning and practice upon social institutions and conditions. We will also attempt to push the limits of current theorizing, asking how we might now most helpfully define, teach, and study literacy, if our goal is for all children, youth, and adults—but most especially those who’ve been poorly served economically and educationally—to develop powerful abilities and identities as communicators.

Required Materials:

  • The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies (Kindle cloud, ebook edition). Jennifer Roswell and Kate Pahl (Ed.)
  • Other readings available as pdf, link, or I will loan you the book.
  • If you have a laptop, please bring to class each time. We will do quite a bit of work in Google Docs and our main text is digital.

Determining Your Final Course Grade: 

  • Literacy Pilot Self Study 10%
  • Work with Readings: weekly artifacts/discussions 20%
  • Featured Curator 5%
  • Artifacts for Re-Theorizing book 10%
  • Book Review 5%
  • Consultation & Feedback 15%
  • Proposal 5%
  • Literacy Project 30%

(see Assignment tab for descriptions)


Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable her to provide any resources that she may possess. You can find many, many campus resources HERE too.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Please also contact Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) as they are the designated department responsible for approving and coordinating reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities. ARC will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide you further assistance with requesting and arranging accommodations.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

As a Chico State professor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment for Chico State students.  It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible.  However, I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct with the University.

Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting the Counseling and Wellness Center (898-6345) or Safe Place (898-3030).  Information about campus reporting obligations and other Title IX related resources are available here: www.csuchico.edu/title-ix

Mechoopda Acknowledgement

CSU, Chico stands on traditional Mechoopda Indian tribal lands. Without them and other native peoples, we would not have access to this campus or our education.

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