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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Exploding the National Child: Discourses of Development in Literacy Education

Zlatko David Beretovac.

The term literacy has been mobilised in a variety of contexts, whether as the possibility of liberation from colonial conditions and mentalities, as a means to remain competitive within a global marketplace, or as a tool for critical thought upon systems of power and domination. Uniting all these disparate viewpoints is the assumed articulation of literacy upon systems defined by development. The subject assumed as partaking of literacy is a projection of nineteenth century concerns surrounding the development of the state and the individual, each arranged according to necessary developmental stages. Literacy marks a shift in the focus of this power towards setting the individual to work rather than strengthening the state's coercive powers. However, the attribute of NATIONALITY remains with the subject of literacy, and should be critically examined.


Zlatko David Beretovac  (Australia)

School of Communication and Cultural Studies
Curtin University

Zlatko Beretovac is currently completing a PhD on the construction of literacy in contemporary educational discourse at Curtin University in Western Australia.

  • Literacy
  • Critical literacy
  • Nationalism
  • Standard languages
  • Development
  • Discourse
Person as Subject
  • Graff, Harvey J. Collodi, Carlo Street, Brian V.

(30 min Conference Paper, English)