ERIC Number: ED336531
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Research Model Emerges from International Conference.
Charters, Margaret A.; Charters, Alexander N.
The International Seminar on Functional Illiteracy and Professional Incompetence as Risk Factors of Modern Civilization and the Role of Adult Continuing Education in Overcoming Them examined the modern problem and definition of illiteracy, the causes of professional illiteracy, measures to eliminate the causes, and recommendations for further research. The first two papers in the seminar, given by an agricultural economist and a sociologist, challenged the participants to move beyond the traditional boundaries of thinking about literacy and adult education in their deliberations. They noted that illiteracy results not so much from the fact that people do not learn, but that the world changes around them and new knowledge must be mastered and new ideas accepted. Subsequent papers touched on these major themes: (1) goals for literacy need to broadened; (2) education should move from a monofunctional to a polyfunctional model; (3) people function in various spheres and can be literate in some but not others; and (4) illiteracy occurs at higher levels of cognitive achievement than have been traditionally considered--thus the term "professional incompetence." The ideas discussed at the seminar could be combined into a model for further research in literacy and professional competence. The model would appear as a continuum ranging from functional literacy to professional competence, with people moving up or down on the continuum depending on the changes in society or their professions and their access to continuing education. An agenda for research can be based on the model. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper based in part on notes taken at the International Seminar on Functional Illiteracy and Professional Incompetence as Risk Factors of Modern Civilization and the Role of Adult Continuing Education in Overcoming Them (Leningrad, USSR, June 1990).