Literacy & Personal Growth

One of the literacy arguments Knoblauch mentions is the literacy-for-personal-growth argument. We didn’t discuss it much in class, but it was my favorite perspective to read about. Reading truly is at the epicenter of personal growth at times; I personally have experienced a lot of personal growth through my elimination of ignorance via reading. Students should be allowed to pick which books they read; in my senior year of high school, our summer reading was just that. We were given a choice of four classic novels and were allowed to chose any one of them to read for that summer and do a project on. I liked the freedom in that and felt I enjoyed the novel more because I got to chose it. I also liked when he mentioned fair representation: “let young women and young Hispanics find images of themselves in schoolwork, not just images of white males.” Equal representation for non white males is extremely important in literature and other media, as it makes minorities feel more accepted and normal. Knoblauch criticized this perspective in saying that it never brings about any change, and I have to disagree. Years ago, most schoolwork did have images of just white males, maybe with an occasional woman. The personal growth argument, however, has helped to bring more minorities into the forefront, and books not just about white males are beginning to gain more popularity. This argument may not be the loudest or most radical, but it does slowly and quietly encourage a more broad range of literacy.

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