Monday Coleman levels of lit
working-class or to some extent middle-class classrooms to critique and challenge the status quo, it is called
. Essay-text literacy and powerful literacy are associated with affluent professional and executive elite communities and is demanded by most affluent professional and executive elite occupations. It is the level of literacy that gets most teaching attention in affluent professional and executive elite schools. It is, no doubt, the literacy that was demanded of David Coleman in his affluent, highbrow home, his schools, and his community.
is the ability to read and absorb the kind of high-status knowledge that is associated with school textbooks and to write examinations and reports based on this knowledge.
It is associated with middle-class communities and is demanded by most middle-class occupations where one is expected to know the answers or know where to find the answers. It is the level of literacy that gets most teaching attention in middle-class schools. I think this is the literacy Coleman was thinking of when said students need to learn that no one gives a shit what they think.
is the ability to meet the reading and writing demands of an average person on an average day
and writing a personal letter or a note to leave on the kitchen table. It is associated with the kinds of employment in which working-class adults typically engage. This level of literacy is associated with working-class communities and is demanded by most working-class occupations. It is the level of literacy that gets most teaching attention in working-class schools. Here again, presumable no one gives a shit what the students think. Curriculum guides and standards (including Common Core State Standards) appear to indicate that all teachers, including teachers of working-class and middle-class students are supposed to teach essay-text literacy. In fact teachers of working-class and middle-class students they do try to teach essay-text literacy, and they are successful to varying degrees
the more poverty-stricken the
students’ families the less
, the more economically secure the students’ families, the more success
ful. And so they do ask students what they think and what they feel about the texts they are assigned to read and Coleman describes this as bullshit.
The previous discussion draws heavily on the theory of economic reproduction, that is, American schools prepare working-class students to become working-class adults, middle-class students to become middle-class adults, and so on. This is from Bowles and Gintis
Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and Contradictions of Economic Life.
I cannot believe that Arne Duncan with a degree in sociology from Harvard and a senior thesis entitle
The Values, Aspirations and Opportunities of the Urban Underclass
has not read this enormously influential book. How could he not see that economic reproduction is relevant to the discussion of standards?