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ERIC Number: ED290129
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Quest for Literacy.
Greenlaw, M. Jean
Noting that being illiterate in this country precludes full participation in society, this paper addresses the issue of whether or not American society is truly literate. The first section of the paper offers a historical review of commentary on literacy and education to show that there has never truly been "a golden age of literacy," but rather that the public has always been concerned about the state of the English language and the ability of schools to educate individuals to use that language. It concludes that the public tends to see "literacy" as a static and finite product, and that because of this narrow definition, schools will never completely satisfy demands for basic education. The second section of the paper looks at the social and cultural context of literacy, concluding that literacy is not a set of measurable, static skills, but a living and changing entity that defines culture and is created by it. The third section of the paper examines literacy in the United States today, reviewing the following recent publications that have had an impact on the nation's view of literacy and schooling: (1) "A Nation at Risk"; (2) "Books in Our Future"; (3) "Becoming a Nation of Readers"; (4) The Reading Report Card"; (5) "The Report on Writing"; (6) "What Works"; and (7) "Literacy: Profiles of America's Young Adults." The final section of the paper offers 10 suggestions for reform to address the issue of illiteracy, including establishing a coherent and workable philosophy of education, establishing reasonable goals for education and schools, understanding and preparing for future demographics, working to make schools part of the community, and enabling parents to become part of the schooling process. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A