Mr. Harman reviews current definitions of illiteracy and functional illiteracy and discusses their relationship both to estimates of the scope of the problem and, by implication, to efforts toward its solution. Applying functional standards according to the requisites of particular societies, it can be seen that even countries with high literacy rates, such as the United States, harbor large functionally illiterate populations. The author argues that adult basic education efforts here and abroad should be planned on a situation-specific basis, with goals, content, and evaluative components derived independently of the usual grade school equivalencies.

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