They Closed Their Schools

*Post updated. I went to high school in Prince Edward County.  Lucky me.  They fancy themselves the Heart of Virginia, but really, it's a terrible place.  The county seat is Farmville (and no, I'm not talking about the Facebook app.)  In 2007, 20.3 percent of the population lived below the poverty level, compared to only…

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On literacy

My cousin just finished her master's degree in literacy and culture.  I'd never heard of the degree before, but it sounds really fascinating.  Now I want one.  If I could stay in school forever, notching my gun with each new degree I've earned, I would be one happy girl. Anyway, I was reading about literacy…

The new literacy

Clive Thompson reviewed Andrea Lunsford's literacy project, the Stanford Study of Writing, for Wired Magazine.  Lunsford's project is intriguing: it was a five-year study "investigating the writing practices and development of Stanford students during their undergraduate years and their first year beyond college in professional environments or graduate programs."  She collected 14,672 student writing samples,…

Newser

I was hopping about the Interscapes this morning.  Bookforum had a link to a moderately entertaining Newser article.  As I'd never been to Newser before, I perused the site after I was finished with the article, and I was a bit aghast to see their slogan: "Read less.  Know more."  Whaaaa? I understand the gist…

On literacy

Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich published a paper called "What Reading Does For The Mind."  Among its premises is this: reading makes you smarter.  Surprise! Vocabulary is a big winner among readers.  The paper cites the research of Hayes and Ahrens (1988), who analyzed the distributions of 86,741 English words used in various contexts, and…