Cultural literacy is the primary form of education that has existed for a long time. It is what gave rise to the current form education common in most societies. The only difference between the two is they are taught; formal learning is taught in class, and cultural literacy is taught through experience and observation. Professor Hirsch, an English Professor of the 20th century and the author of “Cultural Literacy,” mentioned the importance of cultural literacy over the formal education the society was fast adopting. The book has received many discussions on his opinions on the importance of cultural literacy. These papers seek to evaluate and analyze the article to determine how the author used is vast knowledge to articulate is points on the topic to reach the audience.
The picture shows a cartoon drawing of a child writing on the topic about culture. On the background is the American map. The picture is used to emphasize the importance of cultural literacy in American society. The author has used the picture to emphasize the need of the literacy and how every institution will incorporate in their curriculum. From the list of other topics that are thought, it important the importance, the literacy is included. It is clear from the pile of the book besides the cartoon that most topics are taught to students. Therefore, cultural literacy is equally important.
Hirsch knew very well the importance of cultural literacy and observed the rate at it which the society ignored. Therefore, to enlighten the society on the importance of cultural literacy, he pens down the book using skills that engages his audiences. He pulls his evidence of cognitive psychology and uses them to prove his points. The audience at least has some information about cultural literature; therefore, they understand what the author is trying to convey.
Some others authors have also done some work on cultural literacy that Hirsch made use them to convey the information to his audience. For instance, he refers to Rousseau’s and John Dewey’s works on the modern American education. These two authors leverage the leverage his evidence about the degradation of the education as compared to the time when he was a student (Hirsch, Kett & Trefil). His claims are likely to raise debate among the current scholars and educators. Therefore, through references to various authors, Hirsch can provide evidence.
Hirsch main goal is to provide proof to many of his claims in the article. Thus, he uses his writing skills to give evidence. For instance, in some cases, he uses metaphors to articulate a point on the importance of writing ability by likening it to the tip of the iceberg. He claims that the ability to write well is a sign an indication of wide knowledge that one has. At the moment of his writing, the society encouraged the acquisition of knowledge without the need for the importance of the ability to write (Cook). Through the representation of the ideas to the real world, one can hammer an insight into one’s mind.
Use of questions and answers is another approach that he uses to approach the compelling ideas that comes to one mind by reading his article. The approach counter preformed question that comes to one’s mind as he read the article (Hirsch, Kett, & Trefil). Example, on his argument to support good writing ability he asked so many questions on how one writes better than he can read. Through the use of questions and answers, the audiences find solutions to the problem that they formulate once the ideas that lead to those questions came to the mind. Hirsch knows vividly well that any idea that he proposes or encourage must result in many problems to the reader; thus he formulates the exact questions and provides their answers more understandably.
Hirsch noted the presence of complex issues in the current curriculum. He thus formulates simple working solutions to those problems. These complex problems exist in the in education, but the education policy implementers usually ignore them; therefore, he enlightens his audience on the existence of the problem and proposes simple rules to address the issue.
Cultural education is very important in society as it shapes the behavior, character, and molarity. The formal education does not teach how one acquires these essential life skills and qualities. Hirsch argues that the importance of cultural literacy supersedes formal education provides. The cultural literacy is crucial in shapes one’s behavior and moral virtues, characteristics that are important in one’s life (Hirsch, Kett, & Trefil). Thus, he suggests that every institution should devise a way to incorporate the cultural literacy in their curriculum. This is an indication that even though he proclaims that cultural education is right, he does not discourage the formal learning which if offered by most institutions, blending both will be lead to the high quality knowledge and wisdom.
The human being needs to develop from nearly all aspects of life to productive in society. Cultural education is contributing much to the development of human social life. Formal education equips one with skills that enable him/her to earn a living. The cultural education is similar in the teaching globally (Cook).
The concerns of professor Hirsch on the importance of the cultural literacy compelled him to write these article to explain the controversial ideas that could have rejected by the then scholars. Through penning down the discussion on the topic, he makes the argument to survive for many decades and still there is a possibility that scholars will always discuss which will make the cultural literacy relevant in the society. The paper examined how the author uses his wisdom and skills to enlighten the audience.
Cook, P. G. “The Rhetoricity of Cultural Literacy.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, vol. 9, no. 3, 2009, pp. 487-500,
Hirsch, E., et al. “Chapter Seventeen: E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (1987).” Popular Educational Classics, 1987,
Lumen. [rethorical analyse ]. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/styleguide/chapter/rhetorical-context/