Friday, August 05, 2005


"[T]he instrumentalist literacy for the poor, in the form of a competency-based skill-banking approach, and the instrumentalist literacy for the rich, the highest form, acquired through the university in the form of professional specialization, share one common feature: They both prevent the development of critical thinking that enables one to read the world critically and to understand the reasons and linkages behind the facts. The instrumentalist approach to literacy, even at the highest level of specialization (including method as a form of specialization), functions to domesticate the consciousness via a constant disarticulation between the reductionistic and narrow reading of one's field of specialization and the reading of the universe within which one's specialization is situated. This inability to link the reading of the word with the world, if not combatted, will further debilitate already feeble democratic institutions and the unjust asymmetrical power relations that characterize the hypocritical nature of contemporary democracies."

-- Donaldo Macedo and Ana Maria Araujo Freire

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