The Challenge of Universal Literacy

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Science  09 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4871, pp. 1293-1299
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4871.1293


Universal literacy has always been a goal of the United States. But literacy has been a moving target: criteria have risen as technology advanced. Comprehension skills well beyond simple decoding are now required. Research by educators and psychologists has laid a scientific foundation on which new pedagogic methods can be based. But even with better teaching, the hope that all adults can attain the highest levels of literacy skills may be unrealistic.