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English/Literacy and Anxiety about the Future: A Case-Study from the Turn of the 20th Century.

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Recent curriculum policies in Australia have been developed according to a thesis that a child is a flexible and plastic figure able to be almost infinitely responsive to changes. One of the central dispositions required of young people in coping with such change is the development of critical literacy--an ability to manage, analyze, and use knowledge and texts in ways that are seen to contribute to an ethical future. This placement of child and literacy at the center of curriculum policy teleologies that manage the uncertainties promised by new times is a process that has a long history. A genealogical review that considers the way that the child has been able to represent social futurity in curriculum reforms raises critical questions that can be applied to present curriculum work. A case study describes the way that a new kind of older child subject position was developed within the English subjects in the first decade of the 20th century. (Contains 2 figures and 21 references.) (PM)

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Author:Cormack, Phil
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jul 8, 2003
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