ERIC Number: ED362833
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Literacy, Schooling, and Violence: Can Community Literacy Help?
One result of the new culture of violence in the schools, and the corresponding shift in attention and resources away from learning activities and towards new security strategies, is the strong likelihood of a notable drop in student achievement levels. Fallout from the crisis in urban high schools carries over to community colleges and universities as these institutions inherit underprepared and underskilled students. Another kind of violence occurs on a more frequent and subtle basis--the relentless and systematic negation of the values, language, and practices of oppressed students in countless learning situations. As urban students experience school failure there is often a corresponding effect in the community. Providing opportunities for the students to confront their own powerlessness and to act of and for themselves in a community literacy project has the potential for negotiating a pedagogy of dialog and dignity in place of the pedagogy of insidious and subtle oppression that has been the main topic of the literature of literacy liberation for some time, most notably in Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." In the summer of 1991, eight teenagers from an inner-city high school in Pittsburgh began work on a project called HELP that involved the planning, design, and construction of an outdoor courtyard at a senior citizen's center in the community. Negotiating the four group goals was the key to the success of the project. Community-based projects can point educators towards an expanded and more inclusive view of what it means to be literate. (Lists of what the HELP team built and the group goals are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Community Literacy; Literacy as a Social Process; Student Empowerment
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (44th, San Diego, CA, March 31-April 3, 1993).