Visual graphics for human rights, social justice, democracy and the public good
- Authors: Nanackchand, Vedant , Berman, Kim
- Date: 2012
- Subjects: Democracy , Human rights , Social justice , Visual graphics
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6006 , ISSN 2076-3433 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8826
- Description: The value of human rights in a democratic South Africa is constantly threatened and often waived for nefarious reasons. We contend that the use of visual graphics among incoming university visual art students provides a mode of engagement that helps to inculcate awareness of human rights, social responsibility, and the public good in South African higher education. Visual graphics, the subject of the research project which forms a key component of a Masters dissertation by one of the authors, provides an opportunity to counter a noticeable decline in the students’ response and sensitivity to the freedoms entrenched in the South African Bill of Rights. The article presents a study using an action research approach in the classroom between 2005–2010, in order to inculcate awareness of human rights among participating students and deepen their understanding of social responsibility. The method used involved an introduction to specific visual art curricular intervention projects which required incoming first-year students to develop visual responses to address selected human rights violations and, in their second year, to develop their visual voice in order to promote human rights advocacy through civic engagement. The critical outcomes impact positively on the use of graphic images in the curriculum as a visual methodology to re-insert the discourse of human rights as a basic tenet of constitutional democracy in higher education.
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Literacy journeys : home and family literacy practices in immigrant households and their congruence with schooled literacy
- Authors: Kajee, Leila
- Date: 2011
- Subjects: Family literacy practices , Immigrant families , Schooled literacy , Social justice
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:5734 , ISSN 2076-3433 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/6531
- Description: Major sociocultural contexts of learning such as families, communities and schools are imbued with power, and power favours some more than others. Given that schools are important sites of social and cultural reproduction, one of their major tasks is to teach learners to be literate. However, literacy is often viewed only as schooled literacy in the dominant language, and the role of the home has been undervalued in the past. In this paper I examine, through a sociocultural lens, the role played by the home and community in literacy learning. Through data elicited from observations of family interactions and conversations, as well as interviews with family members in two immigrant households, I examine their home and community literacy practices and ask how these practices intersect with schooled literacy. I conclude that immigrant children have far greater language and literacy skills than presumed, and that schools need to recognize language and literacy practices that children engage in at home and in the community, and emphasize that social justice for all requires educational shifts.
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