"For the past decade, Brian Cambourne has been researching how learning, especially literacy learning, occurs. He has concucted this research in the naturalistic mode he prefers by sitting in classrooms for many hundreds of hours. It is from what he has observed in those classroooms that his book arises. In the opening chapter, Cambourne declares his prejudices about literacy and the process of becoming literate. One is that learning to become literate ought to be as uncomplicated and barrier-free as possible. The other is that, once learned, the skills and knowledge that make literacy learning possible ought to endure beyond the four walls of the classroom. Cambourne argues that teachers who are dissatisfied and/or frustrated with the methods they use to teach literacy are prosoners of a view of learning which is based on quite invalid assumptions and which seriously complicates the process of learning to read and write. The book then presents an alternate view of leaning and an appproach to teaching literacy which liberates teachers. Furthermore, it leads to the development of highly literate, critically aware, confident readers and writers. These are liberated learners who will continue to read and write long after they have left school. A classroom teacher himself, Cambourne was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship and a post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard university in the mid-seventies. He has been a visiting Fellow at the Language Centre of Arizona University and at the Reading Centre of Illinois University. Presently, he is Head of Centre of Studies in Literacy at Wollongong University where he has been working since 1982."
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