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The Word and the World: The Cultural Politics of Literacy in Brazil (Lesley Bartlett)

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Code: 978-1-57273-891-1

Title: The Word and the World
Sub-title: The Cultural Politics of Literacy in Brazil
Author(s): Lesley Bartlett
Publish Date: November 2009
Pages: 232
Format: Paper
Why do international literacy policies, Freirean critical literacy teachers, and literacy students hold markedly dissimilar beliefs about literacy, and what difference does that divergence make in a literacy classroom? How are the supposed "consequences" of literacy, such as economic development, political empowerment, and human development more broadly, shaped by these understandings, as well as other factors? What are the contradictions and limitations of Freirean, critical literacy philosophies and pedagogies.

Drawing on two years of ethnographic research of Brazil, this book examines how cultural politics shape the teaching, learning and uses of literacy. Drawing on the fields of anthropology, comparative and international education, and literacy studies, the author offers a powerful critique of development discourses surrounding literacy even as she contributes a constructive re-imaging of critical literacy and critical pedagogy.

Contents: INTRODUCTION: THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF LITERACY. Literacy as Cultural Politics. Autonomous and Ideological Models of Literacy. Freire and Critical Literacy. Getting to Brazil: An Odyssey t a Method. The Cultural Politics of Writing Ethnography. Overview of the Book and Summary of Chapters. READING THE WORD AND THE WORLD: FREIRE'S PHILOSOPHY AND PEDAGOGY. Who Was Paulo Freire? Philosophical Roots of Freire's Work. Freire's Approach to Education. Freire's Literacy Method. Freire's Global Influence. CRITICAL LITERACY AS AN EDUCATIONAL PROJECT. Educational Projects in Brazilian Youth and Adult Literacy Programs. Conclusion: Critical Literacy as Educational Project. "TO ALPHABETIZE IN ORDER TO POLITICIZE": TEACHERS' LITERACY IDEOLOGIES. Literacy Ideologies. Studying VIDA. Conclusion. EDUCATION AND SHAME: STUDENTS' LITERACY IDEOLOGIES. Cultural Meanings of Educacao. Literacy and Speech Shame. Analyzing Literacy and Speech Shame: Bourdieu's Theoretical Framework. Conclusion. PRAXIS: THE FREIREAN EDUCATIONAL PROJECT IN THE CLASSROOM. VIDA's Literacy Pedagogy. Students' Experience and Knowledge in the VIDA Literacy Classroom. Dialogue and Teacher-Student Relations. The Teleology of Teacher Directivity. Enhancing Freire. LITERACY AND DEVELOPMENT. What Literacy Is: Developmental Discourses. What Literacy Does: Development Discourses from an Ethnographic Perspective. Implications and Conclusions. CONCLUSION. Freire's Legacy. Disrupting Autonomous Assumptions in Freirean Literacy. Reconceptualizing Power. Conclusion: The Cultural Politics of Literacy. Notes. References. Author Index. Subject Index.

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