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Literacy and Learning: Reflections on Writing, Reading, and Society
Deborah Brandt, a recipient of the Grawemeyer Award, is one of the most influential figures in literacy and education. Brandt has dedicated her career to the status of reading and writing in the United States. Her literacy research is renowned and widely studied. Literacy and Learning is an important collection of Brandt's work that includes a combination of previously ...more
Hardcover, 207 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Jossey-Bass
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This collection of (many previously published) pieces lacks the coherence that a monograph would normally hold, but largely makes up for it in providing insightful and rich accounts of literacy in our contemporary world. Brandt's ethnographic work adds much to our narratives of evolving literacy over the 20th century. I was most compelled by her chapters that juxtaposed peoples recollections of learning to read versus learning to write. The former, largely based in the home, often carries with ...more
Brandt argues that we're moving from a receptive, communal-good reading society to a semi-subversive, corporately-sponsored writing one. I agree with much of what she says, including the degree to which writing on the job has become especially important, and how types of literacy are rapidly changing. I'm less eager, though, about her idea that writing and reading should be reframed in terms of civil rights. I understand how someone can grant a civil right to, say, vote and how that right can be ...more