Cultural Literacy

Cultural Literacy - Cultural Literacy A According to E.D....

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Cultural Literacy According to E.D. Hirsch A According to E.D. Hirsch, to be culturally literate is to possess the basic information to thrive in the modern world. It is the ³grasp on the background information that writers and speakers assume their audience already has.² In his book, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, Hirsch sets forth 5,000 essential words and phrases of which each person should be knowledgeable. The list ranges from idioms to mythology, from science to fairy tales. Why has this list prompted a notable debate on our country¹s educational standards? E.D. Hirsch believes that the literacy of American people has been rapidly declining. The long range remedy for restoring and improving American literacy must be to ³institute a policy of imparting common information in our schools.² In short, according to Hirsch - the answer to our problem lies within the list. Hirsch¹s book explains the importance of the need of a higher level of national literacy. His main argument is that cultural literacy is required for effective communication and the ³cooperation of many people. ..² Communication is what Hirsch sees is essential for success in today¹s society. Communication is the key to equality in America. With increased cultural literacy, an egalitarian society is eventually possible. One common body of knowledge for everyone will be the glue that holds society together. Hirsch also points out the senselessness of concepts such as multi-culturalism and
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Cultural Literacy - Cultural Literacy A According to E.D....

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