Tomorrow I starting publishing the “book-like-thing” I’ve been thinking about for a number of years. Beyond Literacy has been a wonderful learning experience.
Over the years the project got bigger and bigger (presentations at conferences, an undergraduate course, a series of articles, more undergraduate courses, and now a graduate course and an online book). This is the “No Small Plans” part of the story. It has been fun to explore post-literacy and to grow this idea into a series of increasingly larger projects.
But when I started to write the book, the “Less is More” part kicked in. I realized that the real fun I’ve had with post-literacy is engaging with others about the topic; both those enthused and those enraged. It has been the dialogue that mattered; discussions where friends, colleagues, and strangers refuted some of my ideas, supported others, and (most often) deepened the discussion by adding their own insights.
SoBeyond Literacy has become an experiment in participation and in pedagogy. The parts I have written are short chapters to encourage a wider conversation. I think of it as a starter kit. The students in the graduate course I’m teaching currently about post-literacy are the Editorial Team; they will create and curate much of the content, and participate in the dialogue.
Writing this book meant taking personal risks (No Small Plans) but publishing it acknowledges the power and joy of participating as merely one voice in a community of learners (Less is More).