Monday, June 1, 2009

Adult Literacy - the research

Ivory Tower Blues: A University System in Crisis For many reasons, adult may move into their working lives without the skills necessary to fully use literacy and numeracy abilities. To read and write means to be able to fully integrate into society and to be contributing members fully engaged in life.

The myths of previous generations, in a pre-economic 2009 crisis, as spoken about in Ivory Tower Blues (2007), says that we do not all need a University or College education to succeed in 2009. We do need particular skills, in the specific jobs, to enable full participation in the work force.

To this end, many programs have been created to enhance skills, and ensure full participation in community life. The demands of the Information Age have resulted in a need for workers to be literate, numerate, and to have computer literacy skills, as well. Being fully literate increases productivity, innovation and employment chances of individuals.

With increasing demands of the Age of Technology, and a potentially higher standard of living, gaps between rich and poor must be bridged through adjustments by industry, society, and individuals, who can respond to the new economic situation of 2009. With interventions through non-profit NGAs, as well as governments, we can invest our discretionary and tax dollars in improving the inclusion of previously illiterate adults. It is time that we prevent the permanent exclusion, and the marginalization of those segments of the population that suffer from less than high school equivalent reading and writing skills. These limitations increase socioeconomic divisions in society, and must be ameliorated (Rubenson and Schuetze, 2000).

By creating interventions in increasing literacy skills, society can enhance labour force productivity, which impacts all Canadian workers, and addressed unequal opportunities interms of economic and social areas (Coulombe, Tremblay, & Marchand, 2004; Statistics Canada, 2004).

"The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey found that 16 per cent of adults in the province do not have basic literacy skills; an additional 26 per cent would benefit from literacy upgrading."

Employment Ontario, is a government-sponsored plan to increase literacy.

A non-profit, private organization, through ABC-Canada, their page Adult Literacy says, "To be literate means that you have the skills to understand what you read, communicate with others and engage fully and confidently in life’s activities and opportunities– at work, at home and in the community."

They have 3 goals
  • Supporting those who struggle with literacy
  • Raising awareness of literacy issues in Canada
  • Addressing the social, economic and political impact of low literacy rates

Aboriginal people see four stages in learning: see, feel/relate, think, and act.

Canadian References

ABC Canada

Adult Learning in Canada: A Comparative Perspective: Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (PDF)http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-552-m/89-552-m2007017-eng.pdf (PDF Version, 645 kb)

There are a great many literacy programs in Ontario, alone.

Canadian Council on LearningThe Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) is an independent non-profit corporation, funded by HRDC to promote and support research on lifelong learning in Canada.

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