ERIC Number: ED340922
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Illiteracy and Economic Performance.
Benton, Lauren; Noyelle, Thierry
Most industrialized nations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have entered a new economic era characterized by new industries, new forms of production and competition, and a much higher premium on skills. Those with low levels of literacy and basic workplace skills find it increasingly difficult to obtain or retain employment. Conceptions and measurements of literacy have evolved over time to arrive at a modern concept of functional literacy that links individuals' literacy performance capabilities more closely and directly to everyday needs in civic life and the workplace. Findings from national surveys of literacy levels are extremely useful in clarifying the nature and magnitude of the literacy problem. An important finding is that the incidence of illiteracy is actually quite low in industrialized nations. The problem appears to lie in the alarmingly high incidence of functional illiteracy. Public sector and voluntary institutions use a wide mix of remedial interventions. A key issue in almost every country is finding the appropriate balance between central guidance and decentralized program implementation and innovation. Firm- and sector-based efforts in OECD countries focus on raising literacy simultaneously with expanding basic workplace skills and on strengthening both literacy and economic performance. The field of adult literacy and economic performance remains an area in need of measurement and assessment. (Two appendices are included: "Canada's Survey of Literacy Skills Used in Daily Activities: Survey Preparation and Measurement Issues" by Alvin Satin et al. and "Direct versus Proxy Measures of Adult Functional Literacy: A Preliminary Reexamination" by David Neice et al.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Adult Programs, Developed Nations, Economic Progress, Foreign Countries, Functional Literacy, Human Resources, Illiteracy, Job Training, Labor Force Development, Literacy Education, Measures (Individuals), Productivity, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Remedial Programs, Surveys
OECD Publications and Information Centre, 2001 L Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036-4910 ($20.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (France). Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
Identifiers - Location: Canada