Exploring literacy and growth: An analysis of three communities of readers in urban Senegal
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 29, Number 1, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This paper consists of two parts. The first part reviews how the arguments supporting literacy education have changed over the last five decades. Although there has been a shift in emphasis from economic to socio-cultural and personal dimensions, literacy is still considered mainly as an instrument for economic growth and poverty alleviation. The second part presents a case study of three different establishments which provide reading materials in urban Senegal. The analysis indicates that people are more likely to practise reading when they have access to materials which genuinely interest them. These materials are not necessarily about development or livelihood—themes often judged as ‘appropriate’ for socio-economic growth by policy makers and practitioners. People read stories and history books for their own pleasure – rather than out of a sense of duty – to transcend the mundane routine of their daily lives. This ‘reading for pleasure’ aspect needs to be taken more account of in literacy education.
Shiohata, M. (2009). Exploring literacy and growth: An analysis of three communities of readers in urban Senegal. International Journal of Educational Development, 29(1), 65-72. Elsevier Ltd.