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Revista Brasileira de Educação

versão impressa ISSN 1413-2478


VINCENT, David. Literacies and developments. Rev. Bras. Educ. [online]. 2014, vol.19, n.58, pp.539-560. ISSN 1413-2478.

The article examines the dynamics of the recent mass literacy in England in the context of practices in modern developing countries, including Brazil. Britain began to invest in schooling during the second third of the 19th century and developed techniques for measuring literacy outcomes which deeply influenced past and contemporary conceptions of reading and writing. Networks of possession and practice were ignored in favour of individual fulfillment. The data suggests that England took longer to reach its goals than modern countries, but it displayed similar inequalities related to age, gender and income. The emphasis on subsidised and inspected schooling systematically ignored the role of the informal methods of instruction. The former English schooling, as the present, basically chose a single method of teaching literacy. Compared with its contemporaries, England was advantaged by its strong economic development and long history of literacy practice.

Palavras-chave : literacy; education; England; 19th century; developing countries; measurement of literacy.

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