ERIC Number: ED338865
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Hearing Other Voices: A Critical Assessment of Popular Views on Literacy and Work.
Recent cognitive and historical research as well as the perspectives of workers can challenge the popular myths of literacy and work. It is believed that workers do not possess the necessary literacy skills for current and future jobs. Forecasters specify which groups will dominate the future work force--women, minorities, and immigrants. Since these groups are believed to have the poorest skills, workplace literacy problems will worsen. There is talk of a deficit in "basic skills." The traditional idea of basics--reading, writing, and computation--makes up just one skill group of seven that employers believe are important. Given growing illiteracy, changing demographics, increasing skill requirements, and economic losses, there is pressure on businesses to support literacy training. Much workplace literacy discourse centers on functional context training--basing literacy instructional materials on texts used on the job. A more critical reading of current views rejects a simplistic assignment of blame to workers' lack of literacy skills. Reassessment of the effects of literacy and illiteracy, workers' potential, the nature of literacy, and the literacy requirements of work should be infused with the workers' perspective and alternative views. The literacy practices emerging from these "other voices" can help amend, qualify, and improve workplace literacy programs. (101 references) (NLA)
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Adult Programs, Basic Skills, Blue Collar Occupations, Demography, Economic Climate, Education Work Relationship, Educational Strategies, Employed Women, Employee Attitudes, Functional Literacy, Immigrants, Job Skills, Job Training, Minority Groups, Technological Advancement, Thinking Skills, Workplace Literacy
National Center for Research in Vocational Education Materials Distribution Service, Horrabin Hall 46, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (order no. MDS-154: $3.75).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.