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ERIC Number: EJ788033
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Cultural Perspective on Literacy Teaching and Methods for Young Readers
Chartier, Anne-Marie
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v44 n1-2 p7-29 Feb 2008
Indeed, for more than a century, most Western nations have made school compulsory in order to teach all children, and it was widely believed that compulsory schooling would eradicate illiteracy and guarantee progress. However, this approach was questioned by a historical study of elementary schooling. Egil Johansson explained in his study how all inhabitants from Sweden and Finland had learnt to read during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries without going to school. In this article, the author examines the reading methods used for young readers across the centuries. The author also examines the question of why learning to read has become the "technology of the written word," while the old spelling method had been banished by the teachers in all countries in the mid-nineteenth century as unable to produce proper readers. Drawing on a few historical cases, the author examines three dimensions of the "technologies of the written word": aims and contents; reading methods; culture and language representations. The great change is explored in three stages: (1) the conception of reading, which was forged when learning to become a Christian and learning to read were the same thing; (2) the first debates about reading during the Age of Enlightenment, and their consequences for reading methods; and (3) the birth of modern methods and why and how the old spelling method, which was considered a good device to help beginners for thousands of years, became an issue and was rejected. (Contains 49 footnotes and 5 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; Sweden