SECTION 1 - A FRAMEWORK FOR CURRICULUM AND MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT
Furthermore, knowing something about the larger system and critically reflecting on how it affects us as workers helps us realize that merely filling out the form correctly may not be enough to ensure that we access our rights. Indeed, we may need to develop individual and collective strategies to both deal with the system and to change it. Taking action to change a system like Workers' Compensation requires one to learn about the even larger systems of government and the processes of influencing and bringing about legislative change. Thus, there is a whole other level of literacy tasks and skills in the context of dealing with systems. Some of these are outlined below.
...literacy as the of critical practice reflection and action can make the union strong.
To summarize, our definition of literacy includes the ability to use critical thinking, oral and written communication and numeracy for the goals we set ourselves in the course of our daily lives. This entails carrying out a wide range of tasks and using a whole array of skills both at the micro level and at the macro or system level. Unfortunately, it is this system level that is usually ignored by mainstream literacy definitions. Yet, it is only when we include literacy skills for dealing with this level of activity that we can claim to be developing literacy for democratic participation, indeed, for citizenship. As trade unionists, we must aim for nothing less. Furthermore, literacy as the practice of critical reflection and action can make the union strong.
It is clear that literacy as the practice of critical reflection and action entails much more than simply reading and writing. Developing critical literacy requires engagement in an ongoing process of action and reflection in the world. The worker-centred union literacy program provides a space where workers can come together to engage in collective discussion and reflection in order to read the world. And this means to read the world not from a corporate perspective but from the perspective of our own lived experiences as workers. It is only in this larger context of meaning that we can begin to make sense of particular reading and writing tasks.