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Literacy Then and Now

A Study of Modern and Contemporary Literacy Practices

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Alice S. Horning

This book argues that the psycholinguistic nature of literacy is universal and seeks to recouperate late nineteenth and early twentieth century techniques for addressing it. After defining the key terms of this study, the book goes onto survey various types of literacy education in the United States. First, it examples various religious organization and their methods for supporting literacy, focusing on the main religious groups in the United States in the Modern period: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The book then discusses contributions made by NGOs, demonstrating the importance and limitations of reading groups, literary societies, settlement houses, unions, and corporations. Finally, the book examines government managed educational programs in K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities.Ultimately, this book argues, the psycholinguistic character of reading remains consistent over time, place and delivery syste. While sponsors play a key role, self-motivation is a driving force in literacy development. Although literacy education is in an on-going state of transition, the need for critical literacy continues to be an urgent, widespread and essential goal.

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