ERIC Number: ED309255
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Workplace Literacy Programs: A Review of the Literature.
Dunn-Rankin, Patricia; Beil, Drake
This literature review observes that (1) there is an increasing need for enhancing job literacy skills among workers; (2) workplace literacy programs cover both basic literacy and job-related technical training; (3) successful curricula use job-related tasks and materials; and (4) management needs to be heavily involved and committed if a program is to be successful. A study by the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Society for Training and Development shows that employers want workers with skills in many areas--not just skills in reading, writing, and computation. Successful programs use the practices often recommended when teaching adults, including clearly defining objectives, using materials relevant to the students' needs, giving frequent feedback, and using evaluation to improve program effectiveness. Successful programs include a needs assessment and a literacy audit. The curriculum should be organized by job tasks, be built on employees' knowledge of the job content, give employees an opportunity to work together and learn from each other, and link the goals of the company and participating employees. Guidelines for development of work-related curriculum materials are found in "Functional Context Education: Workshop Resource Notebook" (Sticht, 1987) and "The Handbook for Trade-Related Curriculum Development" (Felton, 1981). Pretesting and posttesting of actual job tasks and interviews with employees and supervisors should be used. Appendix A contains a five-step process for performing a literacy audit. Appendix B contains: (1) a comprehensive chart providing information about four different types of evaluation; and (2) some prototype evaluation forms used by the Massachusetts Workplace Initiative programs. (The document includes a 26-item bibliography.) (CML)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Hawaiian Educational Council, Inc., Honolulu.