Download Adult Literacy and American Identity: The Moonlight Schools by Samantha NeCamp PDF

By Samantha NeCamp

The unencumber of U.S. census information in 1910 sparked rhetoric stating the country had a literacy drawback and proclaiming illiterate voters a chance to democratic existence. whereas newspaper editors, industrialists, and officers within the federal govt often put the blame on newly arrived immigrants, a smaller yet no much less vocal staff of rural educators and clubwomen highlighted the numerous variety of native-born illiterate adults within the Appalachian quarter. writer Samantha NeCamp appears on the academic reaction to those specific literacy narratives—the founding of the Moonlight colleges in jap Kentucky, concerned with native-born nonliterate adults, and the institution of the Americanization circulation, devoted to the schooling of contemporary immigrants.

Drawing on own correspondence, convention lawsuits, textbooks, and speeches, NeCamp demonstrates how the Moonlight colleges and the Americanization circulation competed for public awareness, the curiosity of educators, and personal and governmental investment, fueling a colourful public debate in regards to the definition of literacy. The very varied pedagogical practices of the 2 movements—and how those practices have been represented to the public—helped form literacy schooling within the usa. interpreting the Moonlight colleges and the Americanization stream relating to each other, Adult Literacy and American Identity expands the background and idea of literacy and literacy schooling within the usa. This ebook could be of curiosity to students in literacy, Appalachian reports, and rhetoric and composition.

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Similarly, the schools targeted a wide variety of students: though well-known for their work with rural, white Southerners, Moonlight Schools were organized for urban, middle-class, immigrant, African American, and Native American student populations as well. The creation of the Moonlight Schools corresponded with an upsurge in public attention to literacy issues. In particular, the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants between 1880 and 1910 inspired vitriolic rhetoric that characterized immigrants as threats to democracy and the American way of life—threats often described in terms of immigrants’ perceived 39 illiteracy.

In the second year of the Moonlight Schools, Stewart completed a fuller “census” that created a record, not only the name and age of every illiterate in the county, but his history as well, his ancestry, his home environment, his family ties, his religious faith, his political belief, his weaknesses, tastes and peculiarities, and the influence or combination of influences through which he might be reached in case the teacher failed with him.  . Illiterates 47) This information was used to create personalized appeals to residents who had initially refused to become involved with the Moonlight Schools.

Illiterates 71). As Stewart explains, the “essential” elements of the first lesson are “simple words, much repetition and a content that related to the activity of the reader” (21). In keeping with this philosophy, the first lesson of The Country Life Readers—First Book reads: Developing Pedagogies for Illiterate Adults 43 Can you read? Can you write? Can you read and write? I can read. I can write. I can read and write. Script: I can read and write. (7)2 This lesson is designed to instill confidence and pride in the students.

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