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Cultural and Historical Contexts for Literacy

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Principal Researchers
 

Deborah Brandt, John Duffy,
Karen Redfield
 

Changes in English education -- and the needs on which those changes are based -- reflect changes in the larger society. For example, language and literacy are profoundly affected by economic and technological change, immigration, and ethnic minority groups’ desires to retain some of their distinct characteristics within the American melting pot.

This research looked outside classroom walls to understand the role of home and community both in shaping literacy expectations and in supporting literacy development. This set of studies examined various aspects of literacy influences and acquisition within the community.

One examined how literacy demands have changed in the twentieth century and captured that in:

Literacy in American Lives, Deborah Brandt (Cambridge University Press, 2001). See books.
Literacy, Opportunity and Economic Change (Report, 1999)
The Sponsors of Literacy (Report, 1997)

A second studied the development of literacy by a "non-literate" immigrant community:

Literacy and L’Armee Clandestine: The Writings of the Hmong Military Scribes (Article, Hmong Studies Journal, 3, Winter 2000)
 
 

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Last updated on Jun. 4, 2008 by the Webmaster.
Please send questions or comments to:
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Center on English Learning and Achievement,  School of Education B9
University at Albany,  1400 Washington Ave.,  Albany,  NY 12222

Phone: (518) 442-5026  Fax: (518) 442-5933

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