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Title: Literacy education: "About being in the world"
Contributor(s): Freebody, Peter (author); Barton, Georgina (author); Chan, Eveline  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2014
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Abstract: Over about 4,000 years, the teaching of reading and writing has been recruited into contrasting, even contradictory agendas. These agendas, from the mundane to the sublime, are all readily recognizable today. Historical accounts (e.g. Fischer 2001, Thomas 2009) show us literacy education in the service of managing debts and credits; inculcating novices into sects and elites; maintaining threatened cultural and linguistic heritages; enforcing the standardization of those heritages in the "building" of nations; providing a trained, trainable citizenry in times of rapid change; provoking, legitimizing, and channelling intergroup distrust; preparing citizens for willing engagement in autocracy, democracy, and revolution - in short, in the service of control and liberation, knowledge and mystification, solidarity and discord. Historians show us literacy accelerating and inhibiting large and small transformations of personal, domestic, community, civil, and vocational life, from prehistory to now (Kaestle and Radway 2009, McKitterick 1990). The scale and depth of these transformations has been such that they have sometimes been misread as being directly and solely caused by developments in literacy technologies (Graff 2010). However, there is a contradiction in how the provision of literacy education is publicly regarded: it is presented to the young and to non, or semi,literate communities as both an entitlement and a requirement, providing individuals and collectives with the means and the agency to participate in public life, but also insistently establishing the means of their governability (Smith 1999). This tension in the experience of teaching and learning to read and write - agency and govern ability - forms a thread through the following discussion.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The Routledge Companion to English Studies, p. 419-434
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9780415676182
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390104 English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280109 Expanding knowledge in education
280114 Expanding knowledge in Indigenous studies
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): Constant Leung and Brian V Street
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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