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In the United States, despite years of educational research demonstrating the ineffectiveness and harm caused by reading programs based upon a behaviorist paradigm, political mandates of state and federal programs insist upon their continued use. One might conclude that this insistence is born out of ignorance, however, it seems clear that the populations most harmed by these programs are the poor and minorities. Privileged class students are also harmed because of the "literalcy" (shallow "literacy") these programs produce. I discuss the politics of literacy and language programs in the United States and how they serve to oppress as they reproduce the status quo. I also offer solutions anchored in generative ways of coming to know and expanded definitions of teaching, learning and literacy.

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This document was originally published by Common Ground in The International Journal of Learning. Readers must contact Common Ground for permission to reproduce this article.