abecedarian ignorance

I have been grading the question on last week’s quiz regarding this term based on a simplistic and strict definition implied by Mortimer Adler: illiteracy.
Uh oh. Since half the class was getting the answer wrong, I thought maybe I ought to look the term up myself. (Imagine, following my own instruction!)
abecedarian. Adler uses the term in Chapter Three, Reading is Learning.
Now accepting wagers regarding how many challenges I receive when we discuss the quiz in class this afternoon…
Thanks to J.I.T. for turning me on to Adler!

2 thoughts on “abecedarian ignorance”

  1. i imagine you would also talk about different levels of literacy..
    e.g. critical literate-being able to write as well as one can read
    cultural literate-
    functional literate-
    and so on..
    let see here…who is in same league with alder?
    Lord Kent?? or a frenchman? Henri M……?

  2. Yo Jake! Always a pleasure to “see” you here. ­čÖé
    Who IS in the same league with Adler?! I dunno. Truth is I have few of these guys placed in context. When I read what they’ve written I tend to read for what still seems applicable or useful NOW. (Not a traditional academic approach; I need to do better at that part to convince the powers-that-be that I have a “good enough sense of what it means to be a scholar.)
    We haven’t used the terms you mentioned (critical, cultural, functional, etc) to describe different kinds of literacy, but we have talked about reading and writing in ways that imply a) different levels of understanding and b) specific and particular skills at using language.
    I’m not sure who you’re trying to reference (besides us?! haha!), but did you mean Herbert Marcuse? He probably was a contemporary of Adler’s – at least he was living, thinking, writing around the same time. One of my colleagues in the Communication Department here attributed the founding of the field of communication to him. I suppose one of these days I should read some of his stuff. (There are too many to read them all, you know? sigh.)

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