ユネスコにおけるリテラシー概念の展開 : リフレクト・アプローチに着目して [in Japanese] The Development of Literacy Theory in UNESCO : Focusing on the Reflect Approach [in Japanese]
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This paper examines the development of literacy theory in UNESCO. Since its creation in 1946, UNESCO has taken a key role for promoting literacy in the world. Now in the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), the initiative of UNESCO is highly valued. Previous research on UNESCO's literacy has clarified the changes of its concept from the late 1940's to the 1990's. But are there any developments of literacy theory after that? And how the recent concept of literacy is embodied to concrete curricula? In this paper I describe the way in which UNESCO has engaged to literacy education from its beginning to now and clarify the new perspectives on literacy by focusing on the innovative Reflect approach, which is referenced by UNESCO. At the time of UNESCO's founding, literacy was considered as the skills to read and write, such as decoding and encoding letters in written language. In the late 1950's, UNESCO took a functional view of literacy to increase practical effectiveness. At that time promoting economic productivity was considerably emphasized. It is said that such literacy did not take into account of the needs of individual learners, thus in the 1970's UNESCO adopted the theory of critical literacy asserted by Paulo Freire, who declared emancipation of the learners. In 1990, World Conference on Education for All was implemented. UNESCO and other international agencies marked literacy as the one of the basic learning needs. Recently UNESCO has begun to take the concept of "multiple literacies". It means that literacy is not normative to be spread for all, but always embedded in various social contexts. Literacy education must be considered in broad situations for individual learners. The Reflect approach is one of the programmes which set much value on "multiple literacies". Key to Reflect is linking the literacy education to various social developments. Reflect combines the political philosophy of Freire with the methodologies of Participatory Rural Appraisal. The existing knowledge and experience of individual learners are respected and the learner's active participation to the local development is encouraged. From the perspective of designing curriculum in Reflect, it is clear that there is no sequence previously decided. Learning always takes place through learners' active engagement in their own contexts. It also integrates the skills to read and write and a process of their reflection and action. The focus of Reflect is to encourage an environment where literacy can be used in various ways, such as to analyze power relations critically and to adapt effectively in one's life. These ideas of designing curriculum reveal the new concept of "Literacy as Freedom". It means literacy may contribute to a wider struggle for social justice and expand the real freedom people enjoy. The idea of "Literacy as Freedom" echoes the book of <i>Development as Freedom</i> by Amartya Sen. Reflect develops curricula which link multiple literacies to "Literacy as Freedom". This study concludes UNESCO develops the recent concept of "multiple literacies" into the "Literacy as Freedom".
- The Japanese Journal of Curriculum Studies
The Japanese Journal of Curriculum Studies 21(0), 43-55, 2012
The Japanese Society for Curriculum Studies