Monday, May 18, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Introduction (1)

Introduction (part 1)

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the data compiled in a report funded by the National Endowment for the Arts entitled To Read or Not to Read, in 2005, 30 percent of 17-year-olds in the U.S. were proficient readers, but only 15 percent of adults were proficient readers.

The loss of literacy with age is attributed to the fact that most adults never purchase a book, and few actually read a book after formal education is concluded. Therefore, they lose what proficiency they gained in school.

The problem of illiteracy or secondary orality in America crosses all ethnic groups. Additional NAEP data concludes that in 2005, 59 percent of whites, 85 percent of Hispanics, and 89 percent of blacks in the U.S. could not read well.

But from the 1600s through the early 1900s, America had literacy rates of over 90 percent including black slaves and white indentured servants. No other culture or group of people since the advent of the printing press has raised as literate a culture as America before the 1950s.

The difference in achievement between our early culture and current culture is examined in the Theological Framework and Literary Review chapters through three major premises.
  1. The biblical understanding of family as primary educational institution.
  2. The holistic view of education as knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
  3. The idea of theology as habitus, an integration of all of learning with theology as its formative mistress.
These three principles are embodied in the Christian, classical skills of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric familiar to all teachers and students throughout academic history.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved.

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