The Age of Postcriticism . . . Really?

The goal of Selber’s book “Multiliteracies for a Digital Age”  is to provide teachers with a guide for implementing computer literacy programs with the result of producing multiliterate students.  As a result of the dominant presence of computers in the classroom, he suggests that instructors take a “postcritical stance”  regarding computer literacy programs.  As a result of what Selber identifies as myths and problems surrounding the idea of computer education, he develops the notion that students need functional as well as critical literacies and introduces three categories that he outlines in his book: “functional, critical, and rhetorical.”

Although I agree with Selber about the dominant presence of technology in the classroom, I am weary of any ideologies that advise a “postcritical” stance.  Asking English teachers to not criticize is like asking a Psychiatrist to not analyze.  Upon the conclusion of chapter one, I was left to question the actual word “education”.  Why do students receive an education?  Selber writes that “colleges and universities are beginning to embrace requirements for computer literacy, as employers . . . strongly urge upper-level administrators to do so.”  Therefore, is it the goal of colleges and universities to turn students into working professionals in a digital world or to teach lessons passed on from previous generations?  Is it possible to do both without losing something along the way?

1 comment for “The Age of Postcriticism . . . Really?

  1. October 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I believe the intent is to and find the best possible way to teach using a combination of both. Like anything else new that comes along there will be growing pains until a good system is figured out.

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