ERIC Number: ED237776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Basic Skills in Defense. Professional Paper 3-82.
Sticht, Thomas G.
This report was prepared to fulfill the need for an information source on basic skills in the armed services. To prepare the report, researchers obtained and reviewed published literature from various document files. Service representatives of the Joint Service Working Group on Literacy/Basic Skills established by the Assistant Secretary of Defense prepared papers describing their service's basic skills programs, ongoing and projected. In addition, site visits were made to training programs. Results of the literature review indicated that for some two hundred years, a debate has taken place among those responsible for military training that focuses on the role of the military in providing basic skills training for undereducated applicants for military service. A representative sample of the major arguments in the debate was compiled. In general, arguments against the teaching of basic skills in the military focus on pointing to the undesirability of permitting the less literate to enter military service, the costs of training the less literate, the use of limited assignments in lieu of basic skills training, and the ineffectiveness of basic skills programs in improving either basic skills or job performance. Those arguing for the teaching of basic skills counter that many less literate personnel perform as well as more highly literate ones, that screening instruments are not adequate to distinguish the inadequate, that avoiding the use of less literate persons in peacetime prevents their acquisition of training experience when mobilization requires their use, that literacy training can be cost effective, and that less literate persons are required to fill slots in a volunteer military service. Research bearing on the debate was examined in three areas: selection and classification, job training, and job performance. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics (DOD), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, VA.