In Critical Literacy Eugene F. Provenzo Jr. challenges E. D. Hirsch's assumptions about culture and education. Calling for a broader and more democratic vision than Hirsch, Provenzo critiques Hirsch's legacy up through the current conservative educational agenda for education which, he argues, denies, not only the United States' diversity, but its democratic traditions of democratic participation. His book shows why critical faculties and skills of students are essential not only to the success of individual students but to their participation in a healthy democracy. Provenzo offers a list of 5,000 things every educated American ought to know-- none of them the same items as those included on Hirsch's list in Cultural Literacy. Critical Literacy is essential reading for those concerned with our schools and the future of our children.
"Provenzo helps restore a vision of education that extends beyond “the facts.” Critical Literacy is a book that is needed more than ever right now."
— Michael Apple, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"Provenzo writes words that are both achingly accurate and prescient: our diversity, he writes, is ‘our curse and challenge as a people, our blessing and our future’ (p. 68). In his book, Provenzo provides a more hopeful and more democratic way to face this future." Sonia Nieto, Teacher's College Record
Introduction; Cultural Literacy and the Loss of Democratic Dialogue; Notes; Bibliography; Appendix; Index.