Integrative Literacies describe the integration, connection, and linkage through serious inquiry and collaborative learning of six core areas of literacy: science, computation or digital, mathematics, communication, technical, and aesthetic. It is in the intersection and synthesis of these literacies that students develop the core knowledge, flexibility of thought, and responsiveness to contribute to the evolving needs of society and the world. In isolation these literacies are insufficient; rather, they function best and most meaningfully when integrated successfully and perceptively in context.
1. Scientific literacy refers to describing, explaining, and predicting natural phenomena. Students learn to critically engage articles about science in discipline‐based and popular media and enter into conversation about the soundness of their conclusions. Scientific literacy requires familiarity with scientific modes of inquiry and an understanding of their applications when addressing questions of science and technology. It refers to a person’s ability to identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and to express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed. A literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information and scientific claims on the basis of the sources and methods used to generate them. Scientific literacy also refers to the capacity to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and to apply conclusions from such arguments appropriately.
2. Computational or digital literacy is the ability to understand the fundamental underpinnings of and appropriate uses of digital devices and media as vehicles of understanding and vehicles for learning, working, communicating, and collaborating. It includes the ability to actively engage and interpret digital media, reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments, and make educated judgments about the information and environments we find online. Digital literacy requiresunderstanding and critical evaluation of the special challenges posed by the complexity of digital sources and environments.
3. Mathematical literacy or numeracy is the ability to reason rigorously and quantitatively with numbers and other mathematical concepts, not only in the field of mathematics but also in other fields. To be numerically literate, a person has to be capable of understanding and applying mathematical systems of representation and reasoning. Numeracy involves developing confidence and competence with numbers, measures, and the theories that support them. It requires an understanding of numbering systems, a repertoire of mathematical techniques, and an ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands an understanding of the ways in which data are produced, gathered by counting and measuring, and presented in graphs, diagrams, charts, and tables. The integration of mathematical knowledge with problem‐solving and communication skills is required to function successfully within our technological world.
4. Communication literacy is, broadly stated, the mastery of language in expressive (spoken and written) and receptive (listening and reading) forms that enables an individual to understand, interpret, and use language successfully for a variety of purposes. More specifically, it is the ability to transmit a message that conveys meaning to an intended audience. Communication may be verbal or non‐verbal in the symbolic and dynamic exchange of information. Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign languages also foster an enhanced capacity to understand and successfully engage in the full richness of human communication, and enable people to function more successfully in the global workplace.
5. Technical literacy refers to people’s knowledge of different technologies, their capability to use the technology appropriately and effectively to accomplish various tasks, and their understanding that technologies are socially shaped as well as socially shaping. A technologically‐literate person can think critically about technological issues and decisions about the uses of technology in context. Technological literacy can be further defined by three interrelated attributes of the technologically literate: knowledge of technology, its application, and its impact; the ways one thinks and acts regarding technology; and the capability to use different and appropriate technologies.
6. Aesthetic literacy refers to the ability to understand and critically engage creative messages in their informational, aesthetic, cultural and social dimensions. An aesthetically‐literate individual can engage and communicate successfully in a variety of creative forms and appreciate different traditions and practices such as visual, oral, auditory, and written communication. Aesthetically‐literate individuals have the ability to create, amend, and reproduce images, sound, and/or physical objects.