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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:05 am


Literacy: Reading the Word and the World


Paulo Freire and Donaldo Macedo


Bergin & Garvey Publishers







Bergin & Garvey, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881





Freire and Macedo would redefine literacy to include an understanding of the reality denoted by language as well as of language itself. Consciousness of this connection, they contend in Literacy, is essential to the transformation of education systems and, ultimately, of social structure. This book calls for a view of literacy as a form of cultural politics. Literacy becomes a meaningful construct to the degree that it is viewed as a set of practices that functions to eithe empower or disempower people. In the larger sense, literacy is analyzed according to whether it serves to reproduce existing social formation or serves as a set of cultural practices that promotes democratic and emancipatory change. This book calls for a concept of literacy that transcends its etymological content. That is, literacy cannot be reduced to the treatment of letters and words as purely mechanical domain. We need to go beyond this rigid comprehension of literacy and begin to view it as the relationship of learners to the world, mediated by the transforming practice of this world taking place in the very general milieu in which learners travel. The book is divided into three parts: 1) a reconstructed theory of literacy 2) concrete historical analyses of campaigns for literacy in countries such as Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, and Guinea-Bissau 3) chapters that are informed by a language and a project of possibility that critique old views of literacy while charting new courses that point to new alternatives.




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