"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Learning to read and write

The literacy campaign article this week was really interesting and kind of scary. It was a reminder to me that our country is one of the only societies in which modern day man is taught to read as a way not just to adopt a religious or political perspective, but to name their world. Naming the world is a new term to me, and I think about it a lot. To me the world has always been the world. People see the world differently, but naming the world carries so much more cultural information. Reading about how different groups learn to name their world and the consequences makes me wonder if I've named my world or just lived in it. I have some really interesting discussions with a friend who walks with me every morning (at 5:45 : ) We talk about my readings, and sometimes I share them with her. Talking about things I've learned or we've discussed helps me put them into the proper place in my own database and explaining things sometimes helps me clarify concepts and vocabulary in my own mind. But getting back to Arnove & Graff, I think one would have to look backward in history to be able to clearly see the purpose of a literacy campaign. I'm so impressed at the people who have been able to research and clarify these literacy campaigns. It reminds me that I have such a long way to go.


  1. Hi cpscat! Your post made me realize that I (we?) need a little history surrounding a text (or the topic) before we can do a critical discourse analysis. I think this is the missing piece in my understanding of the process. Anyway, I think history puts text into a context. History will help me when I try to analyze something that seems absurd, like laws to control inter-racial marriage. Knowing the history of racism in our state uncovers deeper, perhaps ugly, reasons why Virginians feared inter-racial or biracial marriages (roots in slavery, rape).

    I'm looking at everything with a critical eye these days. My son asked, "Why can't you just take it at face value?" Critical analysis has become a family activity!

    Thanks, Susan.

  2. Yes indeed, the histrorical perspective is an essential aspect of the process. Great insight, Joyce! And Susan, I feel for your poor son! :)B


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