The world has changed profoundly over the last two decades, and many of our longstanding notions about literacy need to be challenged. As a result, the definition of literacy is neither a singular or universal one, and it is often defined in contradictory ways. It is recognised that the teaching and learning of literacy is a major responsibility of the schools. While some children have some knowledge of literacy acquired before formal schooling, all will need the opportunities for learning to read and write that school provides. The term 'literacy' has often been associated with the reading and writing stage of learning and it is no surprise that the way the community views how literacy is learned in schools can take vastly different viewpoints. It is important to note that the way in which it is defined will shape the kinds of policies and approaches to teaching and learning that are adopted by the field of education.Olson's definition focuses on literacy as a 'cognitive' model, which is needed for work, education and social interaction. This view prevails that literacy is a simple, learned cognitive skill that one learns to read and write just as one learns to kick a ball, ride a bicycle or make a cake. It is clearly perceived, once the skill has been mastered. Street (1985) refers this view of literacy as the 'autonomous literacy' where those who master this skill can use it to advantage of influence and prestige.