ERIC Number: ED319907
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Feb-28
Reference Count: N/A
Research in Workplace Literacy: The Level of Literacy Required in Specific Occupations. Final Report.
Grover, Jane G.; And Others
A study identified trends influencing the literacy requirements of two entry-level jobs at each of three manufacturing sites and three hospital sites. Data were collected through observation, interviews, and focus groups with workers, employers, and union representatives. Materials that workers were expected to read were analyzed. The study concluded that: (1) job descriptions and training manuals were not reliable indicators of literacy requirements, but observation and interviews were; (2) entry-level manufacturing job literacy requirements vary according to the extent to which traditional assembly line work is being modified to a production team approach; (3) traditional assembly line work entails few job literacy tasks and minimal calculations; (4) quality control, the use of team approaches, the introduction of job rotation, and statistical process control procedures increase literacy requirements; (5) the jobs of entry-level dietary department workers and laboratory assistants in hospitals tend to be defined by the availability of skilled entry-level workers and by the need to cut the cost of professional salaries or to address a shortage of professional workers; (6) the complexity of menu-driven software and the use of technology also influenced the level of difficulty of those jobs; (7) employers do not always have the information they need to set hiring criteria; and (8) workplace literacy skills are different from those in academic settings because they are usually repetitive, performed cooperatively, and driven by procedural knowledge or oral instructions rather than written directions. (The document contains sample materials, copies of scales, and bibliographies containing a total of 112 references.) (CML)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Employment and Training Administration (DOL), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: RMC Research Corp., Hampton, NH.