ERIC Number: ED339822
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Adult Literacy: Views from the Ivory Tower and the Grass Roots.
Stromquist, Nelly P.
Data from recent international conferences and existing studies show that adult literacy research questions pursued by academicians and those pursued by practitioners are markedly different. Research concerns expressed by these two groups, in both developed and developing countries, are based on different assumptions regarding the nature, distribution, uses, and potential of literacy. The academicians' emphasis on the complexity of literacy as a representational act and their skepticism about its imputed benefits contrasts with the practitioners' belief in the power of literacy to foster both individual and collective sociopolitical transformation. The assumptions have led to research concerns that show minimal overlapping; consequently, the two groups continue to act independently, with minimal support. It might be possible for the two approaches to be complementary. The academicians' emphasis on literacy as a complex act of cognition could illuminate the understanding of learners in literacy programs and influence teachers and program success. Theories of human learning and cognition could make contributions to practice. In addition, although women constitute 63 percent of the world's illiterate people, neither academicians nor practitioners give gender issues the attention they warrant. (27 references) (NLA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative International Education Society (Pittsburgh, PA, March 14-17, 1991).