Libety And Literacy Essay

508 words - 3 pages

This is a review of an essay by Arlette I. Willis 'LIBERTY AND LITERACY' I think Willis' main goal to the readers here was to show how education can open many doors, but at the same time close many minds. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson's belief that an educated literate populace would be able to safeguard their freedoms, she starts by discussing some history of literacy and education in early America. She explains early literacy as nothing more than being able to read and write ones name. (How effective this must have made the voters of our glorious county at its birth.) She then goes on to bring up many popular beliefs in more precise definitions of literacy, and the necessity for them. These types ...view middle of the document...

One well-described example is that of Jean Anyon in a description of schools and their structure. She describes three models in particular. First, the power structure that the students must follow the rules not only of the teacher, but those the teacher must follow of the institutionalized authority, the principle, and so on. Second, that concepts like cooperation and teamwork, though more accentuated today, are still largely emphasized only in "extra"caricular activities. Where any achievement is highly competitive and individualistic. Third, is a segregation of the students in a variety of groupings which is not only accepted by the student, because that's just how its been, but brought along with the rest of their life to their careers and children. These groupings usually cause extremely different educational benefits and prosperity. I found one sentence over all very interesting in this writing. "It would appear that our schools-and the kind of literacy they develop-play at least some role in helping students accept that participatory self-government is no longer a realistic goal in modern society."(Willis 40). It was somewhat disappointing that this was the very last line of the paper. After reading through, or maybe I should say struggling though, the rest of this paper with it's very dry, repetitive, and slow to make a point writing, I finally find an idea I can commend. This point seems to have nothing to do with the direction of the rest of the paper, yet brings much of the apparent rambling of Willis to a definite purpose. After reading this line, I feel like going back and rereading what Willis might really have to say.

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