ERIC Number: ED186613
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Illiteracy and Opportunities for Development through Adult Education in the Southeast.
Aker, George F.; Gant, Jack L.
An understanding of the magnitude of illiteracy or adult undereducation in the southeast U.S. and identification of the social, political, and economic conditions related to it are essential to developing effective policies for reducing or eliminating adult illiteracy in the region. Literacy is defined as the intellectual, social, vocational, and civic skills and abilities expected of a high school graduate who has had a "reasonably good" education. Nationally, about half the adult population has less than a high school-level education (50 million), one-quarter of these less than fifth grade ("functionally illiterate"), and three million cannot read or write in any language. The Florida population is about average, the rest of the Southeast 10% to 14% below national levels. Since the Southeast is also moving faster in terms of rate of development and change, it is a time when critical choices can mold the region's development and serve as a model to other areas. The correlates of illiteracy must be seen; poverty, exploitation, alienation, and related conditions are highly associated with being illiterate in a highly literate society. Thus major changes are required in political, economic, and educational policies and priorities especially in regard to development of under-realized sources of tax revenue, gross under-utilization of educational resources for formal and non-formal lifelong learning, and continued development of foreign-based labor intensive industries. While present adult basic education (ABE) programs have not failed, they represent a holding action at best. Main needs are for sufficient commitment of resources, integrated economic-educational planning, and use of already existing knowledge and technology. (JT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Florida State Univ., Tallahassee. Coll. of Education.