ERIC Number: ED304658
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Teaching Freire and Testing Hirsch: Bringing Literacy into the Classroom.
Miller, Richard E.
There is indeed a literacy crisis, but this crisis needs to be reconceived as a crisis in definition. Paulo Freire and Donaldo Macedo's book "Literacy: Reading the Word and the World" can be used to refute E. D. Hirsch's arguments as presented in his "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know," but this kind of response results in the expenditure of valuable institutional time and space on comparatively inessential questions. The crisis is not that students are somehow suddenly inferior or that the curriculum is somehow suddenly debauched, but that the dominant definition of literacy and the pedagogy that accompanies that definition imagine reading to be only an act of consumption, of taking in information. The literacy crisis is that the current definition of literacy and the pedagogy that drives this definition do not consider reading and writing as acts of production as well as consumption, as acts of making meaning as well as taking in meaning. What the pedagogy that promotes a definition of literacy as the production and consumption of text would look like in the classroom is illustrated by a student paper and a class discussion of an assigned essay. (A figure is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A