ERIC Number: ED318279
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Sep-20
Reference Count: N/A
Expanding the Culture of Literacy.
Reder, Stephen M.; And Others
To properly assess the problem of adult literacy in the United States and to develop successful intervention programs, it is critical to view literacy not just as a technical proficiency but as a culturally shaped set of practices engaged in by individuals and groups, literate and illiterate. A successful literacy campaign must incorporate outreach and training strategies reaching into communities of illiterate individuals and meeting their daily needs. Historically, the cultural patterning of literacy practices has been extremely diverse. Immigrants have brought their diverse practices to a highly literacy-oriented culture. It is important to distinguish among three dimensions of literacy practices (technical skills, functional knowledge, and social meaning) to develop adult education programs that build on existing skills and knowledge and that enhance or create positive attitudes toward learning the technical skills. Individual differences in attitudes toward social meanings of literacy can profoundly influence individual choices concerning literacy learning and use. Educational planning and intervention should consider not only technical reading and writing skill levels but also the functions of literacy in a community. By integrating the coping strategies of non-literate individuals, taking account of attitudes, and exploiting literacy assistance networks, literacy training can be made more effective and more widely accessible. (MSE) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.
Note: Prepared for "The American Ticket," KCET, Los Angeles, CA.