ERIC Number: EJ769035
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 60
Literacy for What? Literacy for Whom? The Politics of Literacy Education and Neocolonialism in UNESCO- and World Bank-Sponsored Literacy Programs
Wickens, Corrine M.; Sandlin, Jennifer A.
Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, v57 n4 p275-292 2007
This article explores literacy education, especially the kinds practiced and promoted by organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as a form of neocolonialism. Although researchers in other educational contexts have examined how schooling and education operate as a form of neocolonialism, little research has been conducted exploring this connection within adult literacy education. Using postcolonial theory and Thomas and Postlethwaite's framework for analyzing neocolonialism in educational systems, the authors present findings from a qualitative textual analysis of UNESCO- and World Bank--sponsored publicity and policy documents in which they examined two dimensions of literacy programs sponsored by UNESCO and the World Bank: (a) the purposes of literacy and (b) the funding of programs. Despite progressive shifts in how literacy is defined and practiced from colonialist Western control to local governance, for these shifts to continue, financial structures must be reorganized.
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Literacy Education, Literary Criticism, Art Expression, Politics of Education, Global Approach, Labor Market, Comparative Education
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International Adult Literacy Survey