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Childrens Literature and Literacy - Essay Example

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The author of the "Children’s Literature and Literacy" paper discusses the thesis of Hannon that how literacy can both be used for both enlightening and degrading purposes and illustrates points to support both sides of the statement. Literacy has the potential for liberation. …
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Childrens Literature and Literacy
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Download file to see previous pages According to Hannon (2000, p. 12), “literacy does have a potential for both oppression and liberation”. This precept comes on the heels of what society labels and defines as literacy. Literacy is often viewed in terms of being educated, having graduated high school, or being able to read and write. Hannon (2000, p. 8) sets forth that “literacy is the ability to use written language to derive and convey meaning”. It is a way for people to express and obtain meaning from thoughts, ideas, and information. Paolo Freire demonstrated in his book, ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’, that literacy can be a tool for liberation and social change (1971, as quoted by Graff, 1995). He illustrated that literacy can potentially free the mind and the person from the physical, emotional, and mental bonds of society.

From the moment we start to learn to read and write, our horizons and our potentials improve and change for the better. And as we continue to improve our knowledge and our literacy, our minds become open to all sorts of possibilities and opportunities. Our world has been built by knowledge and in order for us to function well in this world, we should have that potential to learn about all this knowledge as well. Literacy gives people the chance to learn about the world, how things work, and how people choose to contribute to the world.

History has been witness to how literacy has empowered women, African slaves, the poor, and other members of society who have not always had the chance to gain literacy. African-American slaves were deemed illiterate and not worthy of being educated by their masters. Their masters often feared that they would use their literacy to free themselves from their servitude. “Writing became a tool for liberation when it was used to create a series of passes for working their way north to abscond permanently from slavery” (Rodriguez, 2007, p. 177). And eventually, literacy became their means of gaining the same rights and liberties as their white counterparts.

Women were originally not given the same opportunities for literacy as their male counterparts. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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