12 Sep '14

News The Guardian view on the importance of literacy | Editorial

Shocking numbers of children in Britain leave primary school unable to read properlyIts easy to forget what a crippling disability it is to be unable to read. To be illiterate is not like being deprived of television, or any other medium. It is more like being deaf, or being deprived of music. Literacy does not just give us access to knowledge of facts or skills. Some skills and some facts can more easily be taught with pictures or video, and some things can only be learned by practice. Literacy supplies a whole mode of thought. It lets us follow arguments longer and more complex than are available without writing. It allows us to talk across time, with our younger and older selves as well as with other people.The argument for literacy is often pitched too low. This is not just about producing employable adults, nor boosting our GDP, nor doing better than competing countries in the the OECD. The purpose of universal literacy is to make better people, capable of richer lives, and able to enter fully into society, in dialogue not just with their contemporaries but with the community of everyone who has written in the languages they speak. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
Log in Join