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This paper explores the philosophical considerations involved in literacy. It explains that one concept that is emphasized in discussions of literacy is "the basics," which are defined as essential skills, such as the association of phonemes with graphemes. This paper notes that "the basics" movement presently stresses the importance of statewide objectives and state mandated testing. Another concept that is considered is that of a changing reading curriculum, in which teaching methods are adjusted over time. A final philosophical consideration addressed in the paper is idealism, which has the following effects on teaching instruction: intellectual objectives come first in teaching; assessment procedures are used to appraise vital subject matter attained by students; survey teaching is frowned upon; education is seen as preparation for adult responsibilities; and student literature should emphasize what is good, true and beautiful. (PM)

Descriptors: Back to Basics, Elementary Education, Literacy, Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence, Reading Instruction, Reading Material Selection, Teaching Methods

Autor: Ediger, Marlow


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