ERIC Number: ED412537
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
The Sponsors of Literacy. Report Series 7.12.
Intuitively, "sponsors" seems a fitting term for the figures who turned up most typically in people's memories of literacy learning: older relatives, teachers, priests, supervisors, military officers, editors, influential authors. The concept of sponsors helps to explain a range of human relationships and ideological pressures that turn up at the scenes of literacy learning. The focus on sponsorship can force a more explicit and substantive link between literacy learning and systems of opportunities and access. For example, the experiences of Raymond Branch and Dora Lopez are a study in contrasts in sponsorship patterns and access to literacy. Branch enjoyed majority-race membership, male gender, and high-end socioeconomic family profile. A university town in the 1970s and 1980s provided an information-and-resource rich learning environment for him to pursue his literacy development. Lopez, a female member of a culturally unsubsidized ethnic minority in the same town at the same time, was information and resource poor. The analysis of sponsorship forces educators to consider not merely how one social group's literacy practices may differ from another's, but how everybody's literacy practices are operating in different economics, which supply different access routes, different degrees of sponsoring power, and different scales of monetary worth to the practices in use. Teachers of writing, neither rich nor powerful enough to sponsor literacy on their own terms, serve instead as conflicted brokers between literacy's buyers and sellers. (Contains 24 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
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.