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Adult literacy: master or servant?: a case study from rural Bangladesh.

Jennings, James Edwin; (1990) Adult literacy: master or servant?: a case study from rural Bangladesh. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London.

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Few subjects have been discussed as extensively as the place of literacy in the development process. Yet, there is no clear consensus regarding definitions, levels, policies, methods or consequences. As a first step, a model is identified and used as a basis for the analysis of adult literacy's role in development. Literacy is seen as part of an integrated approach to development, being subordinate to overall educational goals. Literacy from this perspective is stripped of its mystique, allowing for a more realistic analysis of its role in rural development. After a review of issues, views and trends as regards literacy and its role in development and a description of the socio-economic and educational situation in rural Bangladesh, the field research is presented as a case study. The role of volunteer teachers, or facilitators, is studied in relation to the materials used in the project. The rationale for and methods of implementation of a post-literacy programme are analysed, concluding with an examination of the integration of literacy with other development activities. The study confirms the subservient nature of literacy to wider educational goals and clarifies some of the ramifications. Overall, however, the model was found to be inadequate for identifying literacy's role in development. An alternative model is presented, and the implications of this emerge from the study. Precisely because literacy has to be integrated with other aspects of development, in order to be significant for the rural communities that it serves, its relationship to the process of development remains ambiguous and elusive. Literacy is seen as an ambivalent aspect of an integrated approach to development. This dissertation challenges the assumption that literacy is an independent variable which can be measured by a universal yardstick, and illustrates the inextricable way in which the role of literacy is related to development strategies in specific contexts.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Adult literacy: master or servant?: a case study from rural Bangladesh.
Language: English
Additional information: Revised in published form and available within the library at 549.2 Til Soj JEN. Therefore online access to thesis restricted to repository staff.
Keywords: Bangladesh,Adult education,New literates,Rural development
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10018470
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