ERIC Number: ED381663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Difficulties and the Power of Labelling in ABE. Mendip Papers MP071.
Bergin, Sue; Johnson, Andy
A study examined recent developments in adult basic education (ABE) in Great Britain in relation to students with learning difficulties and issues about the ways in which programs seemed to be moving. Information was collected from ABE staff and students in case study sites in northwest England from the following sources: semistructured interviews and group/pair discussions; "ways of learning" day events; a residential weekend with workshops; case study scenarios, role play, and drawing; and a questionnaire to original open learning centers funded by the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit and more established ABE providers across England and Wales. Findings indicated the referral practice appeared to be the way ABE was developing. Recent initiatives had created a spread of open learning approaches and "drop-in" facilities accompanied by the demise of small group sessions with a teacher/facilitator. "Preferred types" of students were emerging. The demise of group learning was accompanied by a rise in individualized learning. Policy statements, professional staff, and institutional arrangements operated in conjunction to label the "normal" ABE student and the "other" student with learning difficulties. A more negative perception of adult students with learning difficulties existed, leading to negative definitions and labelling. Another trend was the pressure to demonstrate achievement in particular, specified ways. This would have powerful effects on people with learning difficulties. (Contains 10 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Adult Basic Education, Educational Change, Educational Trends, Foreign Countries, Labeling (of Persons), Learning Problems, Social Bias, Stereotypes, Student Characteristics
Staff College, Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Bristol BS18 6RG, England, United Kingdom (3.50 British pounds).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Staff Coll., Bristol (England).
Identifiers: Great Britain