|Budget Amount *help
¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1994 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 1993 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Recently, literacy is one of major issues in the current debate regarding the role and purpose of schooling in the United States. The aim of my research is to investigate the conceptual developments about literacy by way of comparing the three typified conceptions of literacy, namely "functional literacy, " "cultural literacy" and "critical literacy." The main points of research results are these :
1. The conception of functional literacy was generated in 1960's. In those days, most of the literacy education programs were projected in connection with the industrial-economic development plans and the man power policy, so that the functional literacy almost singified "the literacy for job." Since late 1970's, such a conception of functional literacy has been criticized, and now the functional literacy is comprehended as one of the fundamental components of human development.
2. Paulo Freire, who criticized the ordinary functional literacy because of its function of "domestication" and "deh
umanization, " proposed a radical conception of literacy. For him, the literacy means not simply the linguistic skills but the people's power for reading the reality in which they are situated.
3. The claims for cultural literacy emerged in mid 1980's, by both the neo-conservatives like William Bennett and the liberals like Sidney Hook. They insisted that everyone must acquire a set of canonical knowledge which represents the traditional values of American democracy if they want to participate in the American society. At this point, the cultural literacy is to become a means to secure the national common spirit.
4. The advocates of critical Iiteracy explore the ideological dimensions of cultural literacy.They argue that the acquiring of literacy makes it secure for people to participate in the literate community ; while it consequently incorporates them into the regime of dominant culture which is characterized by the ethnocentrism, racism, and sexism. Therefore, the literacy is, according to them, a conception of cultural politics in which the problems of what counts as legitimate culture and who has the power to define it as such must be asked.