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Questioning the Separation of In-School From Out-of-School Contexts for Literacy Learning: An Interview With Donna E. Alvermann


  • Donna E. Alvermann,

  • David W. Moore


Donna E. Alvermann, Distinguished Research Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, received recognitions and honors as a scholar/leader in adolescent literacy. Her thoughts about contexts for literacy learning challenge that the divide between in- and out-of-school literacy learning is real and needs bridging. Alvermann sees educators creating learning conditions, especially with interactive multimodal communication technologies, that cannot be classified according to a particular context. She began questioning this divide while observing young people's discussions in classrooms and after-school Read and Talk clubs. Educators can tap the potential in youth's multiple literacies as they pertain to motivation, self-efficacy, and engagement. Educational researchers who share this view can increase what they say about learning in general. Metaphorically treating context as a sieve, rather than a structured, impermeable container, can open possibilities for questioning the assumption that literacy learning is qualitatively different in different contexts.