ERIC Number: ED333106
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Social Psychological Conceptualization of Adult Literacy.
Fagan, William T.
The trait-state model, a framework for understanding adult literacy, draws heavily on the social psychological literature. Allport (1961) first proposed the notion of trait. The overriding characteristics of focus on trait is the individual's possession of language control. Cattell (1950, 1979) emphasized the notion of state in relation to trait and indicated that one should never try to predict behavior from traits without considering the state of the individual. Focus on literacy as state concentrates on the actual functions and uses of literacy in the environment. A trait-state model helps one to understand the relationship between an individual's needs, which involve literacy and the pressure of the situation, as well as contexts that may appear to be literacy-based but in which meeting literacy needs is peripheral to other values. Research shows that competency in trait aspects of literacy does not always transfer to various states. Under the assumptions of a trait-state model of literacy, (1) learners should develop more realistic concepts as to what constitutes reading, writing, and literacy; (2) assessment must consider the individual as a person and take into account trait and state; (3) interpersonal relations are important; and (4) the overlap of the concepts of adaptation and empowerment must be addressed. (31 references) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Learning, Adult Literacy, Behaviorism, Educational Psychology, Educational Theories, Evaluation Methods, Foreign Countries, Illiteracy, Literacy Education, Models, Personality Theories, Personality Traits, Program Design, Social Psychology, Student Evaluation
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Trait State Model
Note: Paper presented at the North American Conference on Adolescent and Adult Literacy (2nd, Banff, Alberta, Canada, March 1991).