Literacy in America

An Encyclopedia of History, Theory, and Practice

by Barbara J. Guzzetti, Editor


Literacy, the bedrock of all education, used to be a simple matter of reading and writing. No longer. In today's schools and today's America, literacy means many things: conceptual understanding of texts, familiarity with electronic content, and the ability to create meaning from visual imagery and media messages.

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Cover image for Literacy in America

December 2002


Pages 779
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Current Events and Issues/Education
  • Hardcover



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    Hardcover: £147.00/160,00€/A$245.00

The definitive encyclopedic resource on literacy, literacy instruction, and literacy assessment in the United States.

Once upon a time, the three "R"s sufficed. Not any more—not for students, not for Americans. Gone the way of the little red school house is simple reading and writing instruction. Surveying an increasingly complex discipline, Literacy in America: An Encyclopedia offers a comprehensive overview of all the latest trends in literacy education—conceptual understanding of texts, familiarity with electronic content, and the ability to create meaning from visual imagery and media messages.

Educators and academicians call these skills "multiple literacies," shorthand for the kind of literacy skills and abilities needed in an age of information overload, media hype, and Internet connectedness. With its 400 A–Z entries, researched by experts and written in accessible prose, Literacy in America is the only reference tool students, teachers, and parents will need to understand what it means to be—and become—literate in 21st-century America.


  • 400 A–Z entries cover assessment, instruction, and general literary topics
  • Includes literary resources and professional organizations
  • Surveys literacy publications for professionals
  • Includes three literacy reports


  • Covers the most recent and expanding notions of literacy, such as visual and media literacy and post-typographical text
  • Provides a comprehensive treatment of intellectual advances of the past decade that are related to literacy and its instruction
  • Written in accessible language by experts in their specialties
Author Info

Barbara Guzzetti is a professor in the College of Education at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.



"[T]his two volume set offers a comprehensive overview of the study and practice of literacy in the United States . . . It should become a valued reference to those in the field and a wondrous source of information for anyone even remotely interested in the subject of literacy. Highly recommended for large public and academic libraries."—Library Journal

"[I]mpressive . . . academic libraries supporting education courses, in particular, will find this a natural choice."—Against the Grain


"[I]t is surprising that a comprehensive encyclopedia on literacy and its many dimensions has not appeared earlier . . . Throughout, literacy is examined not just as the capability of an individual to read and write but also as a dynamic force in society . . . substantial articles . . . unquestionable value for library collections and curriculum centers serving teachers in training, practitioners in the field, and researchers."—Booklist

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