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Literate practices and the production of children: psychological and pre-psychological discourses.

Kendall, Gavin Patrick. (1994) Literate practices and the production of children: psychological and pre-psychological discourses. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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This thesis examines discourses around reading and reading instruction, with particular reference to children. The argument is that literate practices are crucially involved in the formation of that child. Psychology, when it establishes itself as the science which has the measure of the individual, becomes intertwined with literate practices and illuminates the relation between reading and the child in a new way. This thesis suggests that to understand the interrelations between reading, psychology and the child in our culture, one must pay attention to problems connected with the government of that culture, and, more specifically, to what Foucault has termed `governmentality'. Nowadays, literate practices are fundamental to the construction of citizens fit to take their place in society; this has not always been so. This thesis writes a genealogy of how a cognitive maximisation of literacy skills became a social imperative. It examines a series of crucial historical moments in this transformation. First, a set of reorganisations in the philological world in the middle of the eighteenth century enable the reader to become, for the first time, a problem. Second, the nineteenth-century reappraisal of the transformative effects of education makes literacy for the lower orders desirable. Experiments in techniques of schooling allow for the formation of certain sorts of individuals. The thesis examines these processes of formation and analyses the contemporaneous reorganisation of the teacher-pupil relationship. Third, the beginning of our century sees psychology take an interest in literacy and the child. Psychology colonises such discursive processes and provides techniques for making new aspects of the literate child visible. The child is scientifically made subject to a set of practices which aim to calculate and administer.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Reading,Child development,Learning style,Developmental psychology,Literacy,Teacher pupil relations
Subjects: Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 16:21
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:25
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