Stories out of school: Literacies of the academy, the community, and the home.
AuthorMoneyhun, Clyde Andrew.
Committee ChairWarnock, Tilly
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAn ethnographic study of the Pima County Adult Education Family Literacy Program in Tucson, Arizona, reveals ideological and pedagogical tensions and contradictions within it. Some elements of the Program are "accommodationist," aimed at helping students fit into an unjust status quo as they find it. Other elements are "liberatory," aimed at empowering students to transform the status quo. Recommendations are made aimed at steering the Program in more liberatory directions without sacrificing its crucial role in preparing students for further education and work. The Program during 1994-95 was a collaboration among Pima County Adult Education, Head Start, Sunnyside and Tucson Unified School Districts, and the National Center for Family Literacy. It involved nearly a hundred families, mostly young mothers with preschool children, at five elementary school sites. Students were predominantly Hispanic, many recent immigrants from Mexico, with low income and minimal levels of education. Adult students received ESL and/or GED education while their children were enrolled in Head Start at the same sites. Other features of the Program included parenting skills education, vocational education, and volunteer work by the adult students at school sites. A review of literature places the Program in the complex environment of adult literacy education generally and, more specifically, the national family literacy movement in the United States. Competing definitions of literacy (nominal, functional, cultural, critical) are examined, as well as two prevailing philosophies in family literacy programs: a "deficit model" of language use by disadvantaged people, and a "transmission model" of school literacy from parent to child. All theoretical principles are related to the PCAE Family Literacy Program. The research methodology is reflexive ethnography, in which the researcher tries to account for his personal interaction with the phenomena studied and incorporates it into every aspect of the ethnography, from collection to presentation to interpretation of data. The last chapter is a personal essay in the form of a literacy narrative that attempts to relate the autobiography of the ethnographer to the lives of the ethnographic subjects.