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ERIC Number: EJ896308
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Literacy as Dialogue
Falk, Thomas
Philosophical Studies in Education, v41 p72-82 2010
Critical scholarship frequently depicts literacy education as an "initiation into passivity." Disconnected from the lives of students and reduced to strategies for scoring points on tests, literacy becomes an exercise in the reproduction of a moral economy of discipline, compliance, and productivity. Yet people also recognize that the modern world compels everyone to be literate as never before. Seeking to escape literacy's hegemonic-emancipatory dualism, many turn to criticism of recent political efforts such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 or the "Why Johnny Can't Write" report of 1975. In this essay, the author argues that such criticisms are limiting and that better, more philosophical answers remain to be found. The author will examine the lives of M. Carey Thomas, second president of Bryn Mawr College, and Frederick Douglass, slave boy turned public intellectual. The reading and writing habits of these two Americans demonstrate literacy not simply as a reductive formula for scoring points on tests, but as a metaphor for intelligent living. (Contains 32 footnotes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A