ERIC Number: ED252726
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Southern Literacy Campaign 1910-1935: Lessons for Adult Learning in an Information Society.
Akenson, James E.
From 1910 to 1935 a campaign was waged in the southern United States to eradicate adult illiteracy. This program was primarily based on volunteers, and it revolved around night, summer, or cotton mill schools that were often termed Opportunity Schools. Many parallels can be drawn to current efforts to address the problem of functional illiteracy among adults living in rural areas. These parallels can be readily illustrated by a comparison of the Alabama literacy campaign, which lasted from approximately 1915 to 1935, and current efforts to reduce functional illiteracy in rural Clay and Jackson counties in Tennessee. Like its counterpart in the early 20th century, the Tennessee campaign is one in which the scope of the problem far exceeds the resources committed to the problem. A second element of commonality between the two campaigns rests in the realm of the commitment and almost evangelical zeal of those providing financial support for and volunteering to tutor in the programs. It would seem, however, that as long as the reduction of adult illiteracy remains a peripheral enterprise rather than a central mission of the educational system, efforts to eliminate adult illiteracy will remain in the last two decades of the 20th century what they became in the first two decades--a lofty goal beyond the grasp of those who sought to reach it. (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Case Studies, Delivery Systems, Educational History, Educational Needs, Educational Practices, Financial Support, Functional Literacy, Illiteracy, Literacy Education, Needs Assessment, Outcomes of Education, Participation, Program Content, Program Effectiveness, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Socioeconomic Influences, Student Characteristics, Volunteers
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A