2012 | 22 | 1 | 17-30
Article title

Literacy as a tool of civic education and resistance to power

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This paper discusses literacy as a socio-political phenomenon from the perspective of several relatively independent educational discourses. The first is critical education theory and research revealing the hidden mechanisms by which education policies act in the interests of a global market economy. The second is the perspective of critical pedagogy scholars on contemporary educational challenges, who offer responses similar to those discussed in current discourse on informal civic education. The third is the heated discussion of high-stakes literacy testing (related to OECD literacy studies such as PISA, IALS, etc.) the results of which are used as a source of argumentation for diverse attitudes and educational consequences. Based on an analysis of literacy theory, research on active citizenship and civic education, the term “civic literacy” is proposed and argued as a relevant conceptual frame for conceptualizing school as an institution which can be involved in resistance to all forms of power politics or ideological indoctrination and manipulation, while at the same time, respecting the traditional values and aims of general education.
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