ERIC Number: ED281153
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Dec
Literacy: The Myth and the Challenge.
Kurth, Ruth J.
In the last decade many people have questioned the long-range effectiveness of literacy education in America. The response to this discussion about the "literacy crisis" has been the growth of three commonly held generalizations: (1) that in previous eras, Americans enjoyed remarkable levels of literacy; (2) that the role of print has been lessened or even negated since television and radio replaced it as the primary source of information for many Americans; and (3) that literacy standards would be higher if there had been, historically, more legislative control over school personnel and curriculum. Public concern about basic knowledge and literacy skills has proved valid, but Americans have actually been reading and writing more than ever before. Ninety-four percent of Americans reported that they read either a newspaper or news magazine, and one-third said that they read at least one book every six months. Although it cannot be said that Americans have lately emerged as less literate than before, society's demand for high level literacy has never been greater. Those individuals who wish only minimal literacy skills have not been able to find and keep employment, and if the nation's educational institutions are not meeting this challenge, then there is indeed a literacy crisis in America. (Fourteen references are included.) (AEW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Reading Forum (Sarasota, FL, December 1986).