The release of U.S. census data in 1910 sparked rhetoric declaring the nation had a literacy crisis and proclaiming illiterate citizens a threat to democratic life. While newspaper editors, industrialists, and officials in the federal government frequently placed the blame on newly arrived immigrants, a smaller but no less vocal group of rural educators and clubwomen highlighted the significant number of native-born illiterate adults in the Appalachian region. Author Samantha NeCamp looks at the educational response to these two distinct literacy narratives—the founding of the Moonlight Schools in eastern Kentucky, focused on native-born nonliterate adults, and the establishment of the Americanization movement, dedicated to the education of recent immigrants.
Drawing on personal correspondence, conference proceedings, textbooks, and speeches, NeCamp demonstrates how the Moonlight Schools and the Americanization movement competed for public attention, the interest of educators, and private and governmental funding, fueling a vibrant public debate about the definition of literacy. The very different pedagogical practices of the two movements—and how these practices were represented to the public—helped shape literacy education in the United States. Reading the Moonlight Schools and the Americanization movement in relation to one another, Adult Literacy and American Identity expands the history and theory of literacy and literacy education in the United States. This book will be of interest to scholars in literacy, Appalachian studies, and rhetoric and composition.
This pioneering study of African American students in the composition classroom lays the groundwork for reversing the cycle of underachievement that plagues linguistically diverse students. African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom approaches the issue of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in terms of teacher knowledge and prevailing attitudes, and it attempts to change current pedagogical approaches with a highly readable combination of traditional academic discourse and personal narratives.
Realizing that composition is a particular form of social practice that validates some students and excludes others, Arnetha Ball and Ted Lardner acknowledge that many African American students come to writing and composition classrooms with talents that are not appreciated. To empower and inform practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers, Ball and Lardner provide knowledge and strategies that will help unleash the potential of African American students and help them imagine new possibilities for their successes as writers.
African American Literacies Unleashed asserts that necessary changes in theory and practice can be addressed by refocusing attention from teachers’ knowledge deficits to the processes through which teachers engage information relevant to culturally informed pedagogy. Providing strategies for unlearning racism in the classroom and changing the status quo, this volume stresses the development and maintenance of a real sense of teaching efficacy— teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to connect with and work effectively with all students— and reflective optimism— teachers’ informed expectations that all students have the potential to succeed.
African American Rhetoric(s): Interdisciplinary Perspectives is an introduction to fundamental concepts and a systematic integration of historical and contemporary lines of inquiry in the study of African American rhetorics. Edited by Elaine B. Richardson and Ronald L. Jackson II, the volume explores culturally and discursively developed forms of knowledge, communicative practices, and persuasive strategies rooted in freedom struggles by people of African ancestry in America.
Outlining African American rhetorics found in literature, historical documents, and popular culture, the collection provides scholars, students, and teachers with innovative approaches for discussing the epistemologies and realities that foster the inclusion of rhetorical discourse in African American studies. In addition to analyzing African American rhetoric, the fourteen contributors project visions for pedagogy in the field and address new areas and renewed avenues of research. The result is an exploration of what parameters can be used to begin a more thorough and useful consideration of African Americans in rhetorical space.
The usual definition of the term “literacy” generally corresponds with mastering the reading and writing of a spoken language. This narrow scope often engenders unsubstantiated claims that print literacy alone leads to, among other so-called higher-order thinking skills, logical and rational thinking and the abstract use of language. Thus, the importance of literacy for deaf children in American Sign Language (ASL) is marginalized, asserts author Kristin Snoddon in her new book American Sign Language and Early Literacy: A Model Parent-Child Program. As a contrast, Snoddon describes conducting an ethnographic, action study of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program, provided by a Deaf service agency in Ontario, Canada to teach ASL literacy to deaf children.
According to current scholarship, literacy is achieved through primary discourse shared with parents and other intimates, which establishes a child’s initial sense of identity, culture, and vernacular language. Secondary discourse derives from outside agents and interaction, such as expanding an individual’s literacy to other languages. Snoddon writes that the focus of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program is on teaching ASL through rhymes and stories and some facets of the culture of Deaf ASL users. This focus enabled hearing parents to impart first-language acquisition and socialization to their deaf children in a more natural primary discourse as if the parents were Deaf themselves. At the same time, hearing parents experience secondary discourses through their exposure to ASL and Deaf culture.
Snoddon also comments on current infant hearing screening and early intervention and the gaps in these services. She discusses gatekeeper individuals and institutions that restrict access to ASL for young Deaf children and their families. Finally, she reports on public resources for supporting ASL literacy and the implications of her findings regarding the benefits of early ASL literacy programming for Deaf children and their families.
Although it became one of the most successful programs in syndicated television history, WKRP in Cincinnati faced an uphill struggle trying to obtain prime-time success. Kassel chronicles the decisions and problems that affected WKRP's primetime success, and explores the reasons why it went on to become a classic.
William V. HARRIS Harvard University Press, 1989 Library of Congress PA53.H37 1989 | Dewey Decimal 302.22440938
How many people could read and write in the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans?
No one has previously tried to give a systematic answer to this question. Most historians who have considered the problem at all have given optimistic assessments, since they have been impressed by large bodies of ancient written material such as the graffiti at Pompeii. They have also been influenced by a tendency to idealize the Greek and Roman world and its educational system.
In Ancient Literacy W. V. Harris provides the first thorough exploration of the levels, types, and functions of literacy in the classical world, from the invention of the Greek alphabet about 800 B.C. down to the fifth century A.D. Investigations of other societies show that literacy ceases to be the accomplishment of a small elite only in specific circumstances. Harris argues that the social and technological conditions of the ancient world were such as to make mass literacy unthinkable. Noting that a society on the verge of mass literacy always possesses an elaborate school system, Harris stresses the limitations of Greek and Roman schooling, pointing out the meagerness of funding for elementary education.
Neither the Greeks nor the Romans came anywhere near to completing the transition to a modern kind of written culture. They relied more heavily on oral communication than has generally been imagined. Harris examines the partial transition to written culture, taking into consideration the economic sphere and everyday life, as well as law, politics, administration, and religion. He has much to say also about the circulation of literary texts throughout classical antiquity.
The limited spread of literacy in the classical world had diverse effects. It gave some stimulus to critical thought and assisted the accumulation of knowledge, and the minority that did learn to read and write was to some extent able to assert itself politically. The written word was also an instrument of power, and its use was indispensable for the construction and maintenance of empires. Most intriguing is the role of writing in the new religious culture of the late Roman Empire, in which it was more and more revered but less and less practiced.
Harris explores these and related themes in this highly original work of social and cultural history. Ancient Literacy is important reading for anyone interested in the classical world, the problem of literacy, or the history of the written word.
In Animate Literacies Nathan Snaza proposes a new theory of literature and literacy in which he outlines how literacy is both constitutive of the social and used as a means to define the human. Weaving new materialism with feminist, queer, and decolonial thought, Snaza theorizes literacy as a contact zone in which humans, nonhuman animals, and nonvital objects such as chairs and paper all become active participants. In readings of classic literature by Kate Chopin, Frederick Douglass, James Joyce, Toni Morrison, Mary Shelley, and others, Snaza emphasizes the key roles that affect and sensory experiences play in literacy. Snaza upends common conceptions of literacy and its relation to print media, showing instead how such understandings reinforce dehumanizations linked to dominant imperialist, heterosexist, and capitalist definitions of the human. The path toward disrupting such exclusionary, humanist frameworks, Snaza contends, lies in formulating alternative practices of literacy and literary study that escape disciplined knowledge production.