PPT 9

Report
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Chapter Nine
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Literacy as a Social Construction
• Past and present literacy rates affected by
differences in class, race, gender, region,
and social need
• Less need and less expectation of
widespread literacy in 18th and 19th
centuries
• Socioeconomic marginality of illiteracy a
20th-century phenomenon
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Hegemony Theory
Why, in the face of massive inequalities, does
rebellion not occur in a democracy?
Hegemony theory posits that:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Institutional elites control U.S. political and economic
institutions.
They share a common ideology that justifies their
position.
Public is socialized into accepting these views through
schooling, mass media, workplace.
Ideology serves to limit discussion/debate and promote
acceptance of status quo.
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Mass Media and Cultural Hegemony
• Corporate chains control significant numbers of
newspapers and magazines; television, publishing
and films
• Concentration of ownership equals restriction of
range of viewpoints
• Media criticisms of American institutions stay
within acceptable bounds
• What will happen with computers and the
Internet?
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Schooling and Cultural Hegemony
• Hierarchical distribution of power in schools fosters
compliance
• Nature of students’ work promotes competition; failure is
personal, not linked to a structure that needs winners and
losers
• Social stratification within the school culture encourages
differences rather than commonalities
• Capitalist democracy lauded; instillation of compliance in
students encouraged
• America’s social history selectively presented in textbooks
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Schooling and Cultural Hegemony
• American society educates in contradictory ways
 Taught that this is a democratic society
 Daily experiences reinforce non-participation
 The option of questioning this dichotomy is not
presented
• Citizens are prevented from participating in
democratic processes
 Ultimately, is this really a democracy if the populace
cannot participate?
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Four Contemporary Perspectives on
Literacy
• Conventional literacy
• Functional literacy
• Cultural literacy
• Critical literacy
Each expresses different understandings of
schooling, political economy, and ideology.
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Conventional Literacy
• 1980 U.S. Census found 99.5% of adults literate— “the
ability to read and write a simple message in any
language”
• Issues with these findings:
 Were data collection methods appropriate?
 What level of literacy is reflected in the data?
 Could respondents read and write in English?
• Conventional perspective useful to support claims of
progress and to mask need for adult education programs
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Functional Literacy
• “Functional literacy” first used by Army
during WWII to mean literacy that would
accommodate military demands
• A literacy that measures ability to perform
tasks requiring literacy skills or to “function
effectively”
• Social class and literacy acquisition go hand
in hand; race and ethnicity matter
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Functional Literacy
• Limitations of functional literacy
perspective
Seems to imply minimum competence as a goal
Tends to lay blame on the illiterate themselves,
rather than social inequalities
Overemphasis on mechanical skills of reading
and writing; less on understanding and critical
thinking
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Cultural Literacy
• E. D. Hirsch’s argument that literacy includes a
basic knowledge foundation that gives meaning to
what is read
• “Intellectual baggage” that supports a familiarity
with the events and ideas that have shaped
American culture
• Historical names and events, authors and works of
literature, geographical places, phrases, scientific
terms, etc.
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Cultural Literacy
• Limitations of functional literacy
perspective
“Trivial pursuit” approach?
Adds meaning, but falls short of advancing
democratic understanding
Emphasizes recognition rather than critical
thinking, and is very testable
Reinforces Eurocentric bias; overlooks global
society
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Critical Literacy
• Literacy may enable some parts of society to
control others
• Critical literacy draws attention to power relations
in society by focusing on racial, ethnic, gender,
and class oppression
• Critical literacy attends to how knowledge and
power are interrelated
• Literacy is the capacity to think and act
reflectively—to understand the world and act to
change social relations of oppression
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Critical Literacy Method
• Highlights connection between knowledge
and power
• Freire's pedagogy of “dialogue” and mutual
learning
• Reading and writing as tools to understand,
express, and change social relations
• Balancing criticism of the dominant culture
and learning its “linguistic code”
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Usefulness/Drawbacks of Perspectives
• Conventional  evidence of success of U.S. educational
system; obscures the way illiteracy is distributed
• Functional  measurement of ability to function at
minimum level in society; settles for minimal view of
literacy
• Cultural  familiarity with the traditional knowledge base
of our culture; promotes passive absorption of random
knowledge
• Critical  emphasis on relationship between literacy and
empowerment
• Each of these supports a different educational aim
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Concluding Remarks
• The concept of literacy is embedded in
social contexts and is relative to particular
societies and their conditions
• Education is no guarantee of freedom when
participatory self-government is not
fostered by schools and media
• Critical literacy key to challenging this state
of affairs
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e
School & Society: Chapter 9
Liberty and Literacy Today:
Contemporary Perspectives
Developing Your Professional
Vocabulary
•
•
•
•
conventional literacy
critical literacy
cultural literacy
cultural or ideological
hegemony
• Paulo Freire
• functional literacy
• hidden curriculum
• the “information
marketplace” vs. a
marketplace of ideas
• literacy as a social
construction
• mass media
• NAEP (National
Assessment of
Educational Programs)
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(c) 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tozer/Senese/Violas, School and Society, 5e

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