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De Castell and Luke's (1983) assertion that "being literate has always referred to having mastery over the processes by means of which culturally significant information is coded" (p. 159) is important for educational practices aimed at advancing literacy because it recognizes the cultural, or social, significance of literacy instruction. De castell and Luke's (1983) view of "being literate" unites the concepts of literacy, education, and culture in the following manner: literacy is advanced through education in accordance with a prescribed social agenda; to remove efforts at literacy instruction from a social context is to deny the social significance behind what it means to be literate in any culture.

Selections from the "Symposium on Literacy, Reading, and Power" (1987) provide a myriad of viewpoints by which to establish the relationships between literacy, education, and culture. Some of the viewpoints expressed acknowledge that literacy instruction is inseparable from its cultural, or social, context, while other theoretical stances maintain that literacy instruction is an autonomous "good" having a positive, transforming effect on culture. In other words, in the second view, literacy is intrinsically good, because advances of civilization follow from increasing levels of literacy. However, as an objective view of the world shows, increasing levels of world-wide literacy have done nothing to make the world a more civilized place.

Because all governments maintain social and economic agendas with regard to literacy, one person's state of civilized literacy could be another person's state of barbarous miseducation. One group's (nation's, minority populace's, religious sect's) culturally significant information may be seen as contributing to another group's suppression (through political propaganda, majority group domination, or "back-sliding" sinfulness). The literacy which constitutes education and the advancement of a ...

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Literacy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:24, November 30, 2021, from