ERIC Number: ED173769
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
A Case Study Using Oral History in the Analysis of Factors Contributing to Illiteracy.
Empacher, Marjorie, R. P.
An analysis of the problems of an illiterate woman who learned to read as an adult, based on oral history techniques supplemented by information from teachers, family, and friends, is presented in this paper. An account of the woman's life is first presented to show her complete inability to read or write through ten years of schooling, the tutoring methods that finally enabled her to learn to read, her attempts to understand and integrate her life, the problems that led to a mental breakdown, and her subsequent rise to a position of mental health and functional literacy. The woman's life story, as told in her oral history, is then presented to answer a number of questions about her memories of her early reading instruction, her self-concept, and her family's attitudes, as well as about the impact of her illiteracy upon her social life, job possibilities, and attitudes toward her own child. It is concluded that the oral history demonstrates how an intelligent person can be beaten down to accepting a position out of the mainstream of society, as well as showing the psychological impact of reading disability. The paper outlines the causes of the woman's illiteracy as perceptual weakness, lack of educational quality, and the low social position of her family. It concludes that society has a social and moral responsibility to eradicate illiteracy through a concentration on reading treatment and improved teacher education. (GT)
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Case Studies, Educational Needs, Educational Problems, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, Emotional Problems, Failure, Illiteracy, Oral History, Psychological Patterns, Reading Difficulty, Reading Failure, Reading Instruction, Remedial Instruction, Tutoring
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Research prepared at Boston University