TOMORROW'S ILLITERATES by Charles-Ed. Walcutt

TOMORROW'S ILLITERATES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sponsored by the nonprofit Council for Basic Education, this excellent if distressing survey has an introduction by Jacques Barzun who attributes one of the main reasons for illiteracy today to the ""loss of the proper pedagogy in the lower schools"". A more specific analysis of the deficit- and the guilty factors- by the editor and his associates shows that the reading problem is a teaching problem; the fallacy of the reading readiness concept and the ""look and say"" approach; the worthlessness of primers with basic, restricted vocabularies; and the value of phonics as a basis for any reading program. There is an interesting chapter which affiliates illiteracy with delinquency (although earlier material disposes quickly of another of the more enlightened, progressive theories- that the child from a troubled background may be a roading problem). The fact that more than half (closer to 75%) of the children today are not reading as they should, and that 35% are seriously retarded, is overwhelmingly supported here, along with some suggestions for aggressive, corrective action.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1961
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.