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ERIC Number: EJ750514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0013-5984
Sustaining Myths, Necessary Illusions, and National Literacy Policies: Some U.S. and U.K. Comparisons
Harrison, Colin
Elementary School Journal, v107 n1 p121-132 Sep 2006
This article discusses similarities and differences in government policies on literacy in the United Kingdom and the United States and the culture of mistrust that has contributed to governments taking increasing control of education. Transatlantic trends in the areas of national literacy standards, curriculum, and assessment are discussed in relation to two themes: "sustaining myths" and "necessary illusions." Transatlantic similarities are noted in the cases of two sustaining myths: that education is getting better and that literacy attainment is steadily rising. Five necessary illusions that portray a more negative picture are also presented. These suggest that reading standards are low; that parents are not to blame for low reading standards; that teachers are not to blame, and therefore those who trained them must be culpable; that teacher educators have failed to understand key research findings on literacy and have carried out flawed research themselves.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States