The term “literacy” does, in short, describe access – on several levels. Elementary school instruction gives children access to the written word. Throughout their school years, pupils and students hone their ability to learn through text-based material. The school as a whole is a portal to independent and confident participation in the text culture.
The term “skill” was introduced as a fundamental part of Norwegian education in the 2006 education reform The Knowledge Promotion. To a large extent, the term “basic skills” in all subjects incorporates the use of text and text tools in individual subjects, throughout the long journey which is 13 years of schooling. In this sense, The Knowledge Promotion is a literacy-reform. Literacy and learning focuses directly on literacy as a frame for understanding educational instruction in text and the written word.
Literacy and learning is a continuum of the previous program area Programme for the Study of the Performance of Skills (PSPS). The core interest in PSPS was to provide a theoretical contribution to a richer understanding of the term “skill”. The name PSPS was in part motivated by a desire to clarify this central interest, and in part a desire to challenge wide-spread prejudices towards the word “skill” itself, and connect it towards the broader term which is “literacy”.
The project managers for the program area Professor Per Henning Uppstad, Associate Professor Oddny Judith Solheim and Professor Atle Skaftun are interim editors for the Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, established 2015.