ERIC Number: ED401550
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Literacy and Literature in School and Non-School Settings. Report Series 7.6.
An ethnographic study examined and compared schooled and non-schooled uses of literacy and literature in a small, rural, all white, Adirondack Mountain community in upstate New York to explicate the way in which low social class and economic status constrain school achievement. More than 75 interviews were conducted over a 3-year period with students, teachers, school administrators, former students, parents, community members, and local employers. Observations were also conducted at graduations, holiday celebrations, faculty meetings, and the non-school classroom of hunters' safety training and snowmobile safety training. Results indicated that most of the families in the town are literate and are often involved with literacy during the course of their daily lives. Literacy is seen to exist within a social and cultural context, and its definitions are varied and changeable. People in the town understand what is required for academic achievement, but often choose not to pursue it. In both school and non-school settings, literacy is used for particular purposes, and there are specific demands placed by the community upon its members regarding specific texts. Although the school is arguably the best school in its section of the Adirondacks, family and peer influences, along with community norms, orchestrate a disengagement from schoolwork and from the pursuit of academic achievement as an avenue of social and economic mobility. (Contains 30 references. Appendixes present a chart representing student involvement in an "Animal Farm" unit, an Adirondack version of"The Marvelous Hunt," and 3 "amusement" texts.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.
Identifiers - Location: New York