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Going for gold in 2010: an analysis of British Columbia's literacy goal

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This paper examines a recent government initiative aimed at raising adult literacy levels across the Canadian province of British Columbia by 2010. Through analysis of policy documents and interviews conducted with policymakers, analysts, researchers and practitioners, the author argues that the current focus on adult literacy in British Columbia can best be understood as part of a broader agenda of promoting lifelong learning for the knowledge economy and global competition. The findings show that like the Olympic Games themselves set to occur in the province in 2010, literacy has come to be seen as a contest, where there are winners and losers, participants and non-participants. Nonetheless, the findings also suggest that there exist unique possibilities and opportunities for community development and civic engagement through a campaign that has increasing literacy rates as its main objective.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of British Columbia, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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