Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1999 Issue »

    Literacy Learning and Economic Change

    Deborah Brandt
    In this article, Deborah Brandt discusses two cases from a larger study in which she documents the changing conditions of literacy learning as experienced by ordinary people in the twentieth century. Her discussion of the lives of two women, Martha Day and Barbara Hunt, is grounded in principles of oral history and life history research. She presents the analytic concept of a “sponsor” to identify any agent who supports or hampers opportunities for literacy learning in the lives of her subjects. Her discussion of sponsorship in the lives of these two women highlights the relationship between literacy learning and economic change. Though these women were born two generations apart, they both witnessed, albeit from different points in time, the steady decline of a farm-based economy and its transformation by the forces of industrialization and consolidation of land under corporate control. Brandt argues that the accounts of these two women can aid speculation about how economic changes impact the processes of literacy learning. She also discusses how the concept of sponsorship can be useful to teachers as a way of helping students to recognize who is interested in their literacy, and why.

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    Winter 1999 Issue


    Literacy Learning and Economic Change
    Deborah Brandt
    Writing Development
    A Neglected Variable in the Consideration of Phonological Awareness
    Sofia A. Vernon, Emilia Ferreiro
    In His Prime
    Dirk Jan Struik Reflects on 103 Years of Mathematical and Political Activities
    Arthur B. Powell, Marilyn Frankenstein

    Book Notes

    Boarding School Seasons
    By Brenda J. Child

    Sharing Words
    By Ramón Flecha

    White Reign
    Edited by Joe L. Kincheloe, Shirley R. Steinberg, Nelson M. Rodriguez, and Ronald E. Chennault

    Country School Memories
    By Robert L. Leight and Alice Duffy Rinehart

    Country Schoolwomen
    By Kathleen Weiler

    The Incredible Journey to the Planets
    By Nicholas Harris

    The Art and Science of Portraiture
    By Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot and Jessica Hoffmann Davis

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