The Methods Issue Revisited: From a Developmental and a Socio-Cultural-Political Perspective

  • José MoraisEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 16)


This chapter aims at discussing several aspects of the “methods issue” rather than at offering a systematic review of the specialized literature. It will: (1) distinguish, in terms of cognitive processing, between the notions of learning to read and write and of literacy development; (2) consider learning to read and write in the context of previous and subsequent developmental stages; (3) recall the history of the methods used to teach reading and writing abilities, in connection with social and cultural contexts; (4) contemplate the training of parents and teachers for, respectively, educating their children for literacy, and teaching their pupils to read and write.


Literacy Illiteracy Levels of literacy Data on world literacy Learning to read processes History of teaching-to-read methods Phonics and whole-language methods Teaching illiterate adults Literacy in socio-political context Literacy and democracy 



Preparation of this paper was supported by the FRS-FNRS under grant FRFC 2.4515.12 and by an Interuniversity Attraction Poles (IAP) grant 7/33, Belspo. I thank Régine Kolinsky for very useful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNESCOG, CRCN, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)BrusselsBelgium

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