Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2001 Issue »

    "Improve the Women"

    Mass Schooling, Female Literacy, and Worldwide Social Change

    Robert A. LeVine, Sarah E. Levine, and Beatrice Schnell
    In this article, Robert LeVine, Sarah LeVine, and Beatrice Schnell develop and test a theoretical model of how women's schooling might contribute to social and demographic change. Drawing upon research from many disciplines, the authors propose that schooling leads to social change by imparting skills and fostering other individual changes that alter women's patterns of social participation. They argue that, in schools, girls acquire aspirations, identities, skills, and models of learning that eventually affect their decisions regarding reproductive, child-rearing, and health behaviors. Among other things, girls learn an academic register that, the authors argue, is the official language of all bureaucracies, including health and family-planning clinics as well as schools. Proficiency in using this academic language is advantageous in oral communication with the health bureaucracy, and may lead to greater utilization of health services and, thus, improved reproductive and health outcomes. After explaining their theoretical model, LeVine, LeVine, and Schnell present new findings from their research on maternal literacy in two very different settings, Nepal and Venezuela. The results of their quantitative analyses are con-sistent with the hypothesis that the literacy and language skills that women acquire in school provide an educational pathway to better health care. (pp. 1-50)

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    Spring 2001 Issue

    Abstracts

    "Improve the Women"
    Mass Schooling, Female Literacy, and Worldwide Social Change
    Robert A. LeVine, Sarah E. Levine, and Beatrice Schnell
    Education for Democratic Citizenship
    Transnationalism, Multiculturalism, and the Limits of Liberalism
    Katharyne Mitchell
    Apprenticing Adolescent Readers to Academic Literacy
    Cynthia L. Greenleaf, Ruth Schoenbach, Christine Cziko, and Faye L. Mueller
    Book Review of Sibylle Gruber's Weaving a Virtual Web: Practical Approaches to New Information Technologies
    Bettina Fabos

    Book Notes

    Conflicting Missions?
    Edited by Tom Loveless

    Three Seductive Ideas
    By Jerome Kagan

    The Social Life of Information
    By John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

    Classrooms and Courtrooms
    By Nan Stein

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