Society supports compulsory education because it needs docile and obedient citizens. We must learn to read to respond to traffic sings and advertising; learn to cipher to make out our income tax. These passive acquirements make us literate, and society as such has no great interest in education beyond this stage. Teachers take over from there: their task is to transform a passive literacy into an active postliteracy, with the responsibility and freedom of choice that is part of any world we want to live in.
Northrop Frye — Myth and Metaphor Selected essays 1974-1988