[AAACE-NLA] Funding Adult Education as a Political Obligation
gdemetrion at msn.com
gdemetrion at msn.com
Sat Mar 4 18:21:00 EST 2006
And just to reiterate from a year ago, a certain book titled, Conflicting Paradigms in Adult Literacy Education: In Quest of a U.S. Democratic Politics of Literacy (http://www.readingmatrix.com/book_reviews/said/book_review.html) deals fairly substantially with the relationship between adult literacy education and the US founding political culture, as Catherine as has described in her past two notes. See in particular, pp, 21-25, 202-204, & 267-296 Whether democracy or civic republicanism are operating currently as vital political and cultural forces, or to be a bit presumptuous, even understood, is another matter. Even if not their latency has an untold potentiality of bursting forth from the dynamics resident within the very ethos of the American political culture The extent to which that latency becomes materialized at any given time is another matter. No matter, the alternatives (what alternatives you might ask) are bleak.
However, from the point of view of understanding Congress's own political ground, and the identity of education-for-all-citizenry with that same ground, we have an argument to add to our quiver of justifications that goes deeper than the notion of "social programming" can go, e.g., for improving the "quality of life" for adults, or for improving adults' workskills so that they can contribute to the economy, etc. That is, our mission and our very existence as educators of adults goes to the very political ground that grows democracies in the first place--an educated citizenry. And to "chop out" adult education, is to chop out not only this-or-that "failing" or "liberal" social program, but to chop out the heart of democracy itself.
If so, then funding adult education in the U.S. is not only supporting sentimental "social programs," but is also a political obligation for those who have been privileged enough to become the Congressional representatives of "The People."
Our adults are first and foremost "The People." To leave "The People" uneducated is to damage or even break the bridge between "The People" and their Congressional representation.
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