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ERIC Number: ED258603
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
A Review of "Literacy in the Open-Access College."
McGrath, Dennis; Spear, Martin
A review is provided of "Literacy in the Open-Access College," by Richardson, Fisk, and Okum, from the perspective of community college practitioners involved in curriculum reform. First, introductory information is presented about "Literacy in the Open-Access College," an analysis based on a 3-year ethnographic study of a typical college within a large, multi-campus community college system. The study found that the traditional role of written language in the intellectual formation of students has dropped away without any equivalent form of communication being substituted in the curriculum. The community college, according to Richardson et al, is structured to promote "bitting" (i.e., the use of reading and writing to understand or produce fragmented language when the student is presented with specific external cues) as opposed to "texting" (i.e., the use of reading and writing to comprehend or compose connected language). As such, the college will inevitably produce students with restricted literacy skills who are socialized to conceive of education as a series of experiences in which they are to memorize discrete bits of information. Other topics of the book that are highlighted include: (1) the relationship of the nature of classroom behavior to broad district-level policy decisions; (2) the relationship of classroom practices with the ongoing negotiations taking place between faculty and students; and (3) the downward renegotiation of norms of literate activity. Next, the paper takes issue with the book's conclusions with respect to "bitting" or "texting" policy alternatives, arguing that an understanding of the trend toward "bitting" in curricula should be based on an analysis of how the culture has come to represent education to itself and how that conception has become embedded in society's institutions; and suggesting methods of reconceptualizing the functions of education to truly democratize higher education. (HB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A