chapter  1
Introduction
ByRobert F. Arnove, Harvey J. Graff
Pages 28

In a Unesco-commissioned review of twentieth century national literacy campaigns, H.S. Bhola defines the literacy campaign as "a mass approach that seeks to make all adult men and women in a nation literate within a particular time frame". But usually there is a profound, if not cataclysmic, triggering event: a religious reformation or a political revolution, the gaining of political independence and nationhood. In Scotland, political order and doctrinal conformity were the goals of centralizing authorities. In the twentieth century, the most striking examples of mobilization involve national, centrally organized efforts that are waged in terms of a "war on ignorance." An examination of mass mobilizations, such as that of Nicaragua, reveal, on the one hand, attempts to engage the learners in dialogue and to design texts that respect the linguistic universe and social interests of illiterates. The relations between quantity and quality within campaigns, more generally, are represented schematically.