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Cultural literacy

We have ignored cultural literacy in thinking about education … Cultural literacy is the oxygen of social intercourse. (E.D. Hirsch)1

What is culture?

The word ‘culture’ is from the Latin word cultura, which means ‘cultivation.’

Culture is defined by the Geography Glossary (1999)2 as ‘the accumulated habits, attitudes, and beliefs of a group of people that define for them their general behavior and way of life; the total set of learned activities of a people.’

The US National Park Service defines culture as an archaeological term: ‘Common beliefs and practices of a group of people … the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon man’s capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to ...

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