ERIC Number: ED254755
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Adults in Crisis: Illiteracy in America.
Johnson, James N.
Adult illiteracy is a major social problem in America today; it is disproportionately high among the poor and minorities. Among the complex causes of illiteracy are ineffective schooling, intergenerational transmission of literacy or illiteracy (reinforced by poverty and discrimination), and rising standards of functional literacy. Beyond the dollar costs, individuals and society pay a price when so many cannot actively participate in social, political, and cultural affairs. The magnitude and scope of the illiteracy problem require a coordinated, fully mobilized national strategy capable of facing the challenges of: outreach to the hard-to-reach illiterate population, lack of a legitimized niche for literacy education in the educational structure, paucity of research and development data, and insufficient financial resources. To help those out of school acquire literacy skills as well as to ensure that children learn to read and write in their formative years, the following steps are recommended: (1) a broad, flexible definition of literacy, (2) a pluralistic delivery system, (3) expanded community-oriented efforts, (4) improved coordination and communication, (5) staff development for literacy educators, (6) more full-time professionals, (7) support services, (8) detailed program evaluation, (9) continued research, and (10) increased Federal support. (SK)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.; Network of Innovative Schools, Inc., Andover, MA.