Literacy and Liberty

Investigative Project: Literacy Across Cultures
Posted by: , November 18, 2018, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Guiding Questions:

  1. What are some of the literacy requirements for “non-western” nations and cultures?
  2. What are some of the different ways that literacy can be defined as?
  3. What was the impact of imperialism and forced assimilation on the literacy of other cultures?

The concept of literacy is an ever-changing entity. Its various interpretations allow for seemingly endless confusion and disparity when defining it across cultures. Nations have different understandings of literacy and what they determine as necessary for one to identify themselves as a literate individual. In the United States, literacy is defined as: the ability to read, write, and understand the information that one is taking in. However, in other countries such as Brazil, Israel, and Kenya it is defined slightly differently. For example, the Brazilian Geographical and Statistics Institute determines that literacy is a title for those who have “completed four grades of schooling.” Israel defines literacy as “the ability to acquire the essential knowledge and skills that enable individuals to actively participate in all the activities for which reading, and writing are needed.” The Kenyan government simply states that anyone who reports that they are able to read and write is considered literate. The different laws and requirements surrounding the literacy between nations and their respective cultures is significant because it sets the standard for the ways in which people carry out their daily lives.








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Meredith–this is an intriguing comparative project! For now, my main question would be: why these three nations? Sounds simple, but you articulating (arguing!) the answer will make the project much more focused. If there’s no answer right now other than that these are the sources you found, then you’ll want either a) to dig deeper to find and express the logic of this comparison or b) home in one of these countries or a different set whose literacy relation to one another you can argue as instructive. Good start.

   Professor Seiler 11.20.18 @ 1:58 pm

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