Autonomous and ideological models of literacy

In order to identify the frames of literacy in curriculum, one must first define the autonomous and ideological models of literacy. The autonomous model refers to the importance of the technical aspects of literacy. This model is very skills-based. It suggests that once one learns to read they can then use those skills for all other aspects of reading such as comprehension and reading to learn. The ideological model is more culturally sensitive. This model suggests that literacy is not just technical skill and decoding, it is more about knowledge, identity, and culture.


The curriculum that I examined, was the curriculum for grade three French first language from the 2014 Éducation fransaskoise curriculum. Both autonomous and ideological models of literacy are present within this curriculum. The autonomous model is present in the French first language curriculum. This is evident in the emphasis put on the structure and composition of the French language. This includes conjugation of frequently used verbs, determiners, word agreement, and determining whether words are masculine or feminine. As important as these aspects are, the ideological aspect is equally emphasized. Because French is a minority language, French literacy is a primary component of the culture. The curriculum states that learning French as a first language allows the student to think, understand, act, communicate, and develop their francophone identity. Emphasis is put on exploring and connecting French language to global citizenship. Learning the French language develops a sense of belonging to the francophone community thus making both models equally prominent within this curriculum.

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