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‘Definition of Functional Literacy requires fresh thinking’ – Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler in his book ‘The Third Wave‘ discussed the future of Education. Read it’s main parts in this post. He wrote, “The third wave also raises non-economic and non-technological concerns to primary importance. It makes us look at education, for example with fresh eyes. Education, everyone agrees is central to development. But what kind of education?”

If education takes place in classroom only?

“When the colonial powers introduced formal education into Africa, India and other parts of the First Wave world, they transplanted either factory-style schools or setup miniature, tenth-rate imitations of their own elite schools. Today Second Wave education models are being questioned everywhere. The Third Wave challenges the Second Wave notion that education takes place necessarily in classroom. Today we need to combine learning with work, political struggle, community service and even play. All our conventional assumptions about education need to be re-examined both in rich countries and the poor.”

Is Literacy, for example, an appropriate goal? If so, what does literacy mean? Does it mean both reading and writing? In provocative paper for the nevis Institute, a futures research center in Edinburgh, the eminent anthropologist Sir Edmund Leach has has argued that reading is easier to learn and more useful than writing, and that not everyone need to learn writing.

‘Definition of Functional Literacy requires fresh thinking’

Marshall Mcluhan has spoken of a return to an oral culture more in keeping with many First Wave communities. Speech recognition technology opens incredible new vistas. New extremely cheap communications ‘Buttons’ or Tiny tape recorders built into simple agricultural equipment may ultimately be able to give oral instructions to illiterate farmers. In this light of these, even the definition of functional literacy require fresh thinking

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