Friday, December 02, 2005

Modern Illiteracy

Who would create a society of illiterates and why? It all begins to sound like a conspiracy theory. But a conspiracy of whom, and against whom? Four hundred plus years ago, before the advent of the printing press, most men were illiterate; now, men can only read enough to comprehend the ads that flash before them on the television screen. Somehow, I think the medieval man was better off with his complete inability than modern man’s tainted partial ability.

All the studies Gatto cites, where the results do not properly add up to the stated conclusion, why were the conclusions fudged? Who was the influencing factor? Was it that the theorist wanted so badly for his hypothesis to be true that he wished his favored outcome into life? Or was he paid off by someone who felt threatened by a truly literate populous?

Growing up, I always saw the ads for the Hooked on Phonics system that ran after “Jeopardy!” I always thought they were some silly gimmicky device for gullible parents. Why is the better teaching method relegated to sell itself through infomercials? There is something wrong with a society that would pass over a teaching method that is beneficial to its members in preference of something proven to fail. The question remains: why?

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