The Mere Imparting of Information is not Education

Marking Up The Margins

“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

                         -Mark Twain

This is a Reading Response to Wendell Berry’s “In Defense of Literacy”

This essay seems to be Berry’s response to the relative prominence that the “practical” fields get over the languages in the current education system.

Berry initially highlights the apparent absurdity of a defense for literacy in a society where almost everyone goes to school but the widespread prominence of “published illiteracies of the certified educated” makes it necessary.

Berry is mortified by the fact that languages in the modern education system are only taught as “ornaments.” As a necessity for learning other more “practical” fields and not for their own sake. He laments the fact that while a language is taught in school, linguistic literacy is not…

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