ERIC Number: ED354391
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Adult Literacy Education: Current and Future Directions. An Update. Information Series No. 355.
Fingeret, Hanna Arlene
A great deal of attention has been focused on adult literacy by policy makers, employers, unions, and state and federal government. An increasing body of work is challenging conventional assumptions and values related to literacy. The National Literacy Act of 1991 has the potential to develop an essential long-term infrastructure. Some basic questions must be addressed. What is literacy? The definition has evolved from simple reading and writing to literacy in social settings. Literacy education varies depending on whether literacy is viewed as skills, as tasks, as social and cultural practices, or as critical reflection and action. Who has power in literacy education? Learner participation ranges from teachers depositing information into students' minds to learner-centered instruction in which students participate in developing materials, to participatory literacy efforts in which students share power and responsibility for curriculum development, instruction, and program management. What is the purpose of literacy education? Literacy can be used for individual social mobility or for community development and social change. Individually-oriented and community-oriented approaches vary depending on which view of literacy underlies them. A number of issues should be considered: policy and leadership, developing and supporting the literacy work force, work and literacy, literacy skills for women and families, and learner assessment and program evaluation. The prevailing view of literacy as a short-term crisis undermines efforts to build a supportive infrastructure. Adult literacy education is growing and evolving, moving from a narrow view of literacy as discrete skills to a richer understanding of the relationship between literacy, culture, and people. (Contains 130 references.) (SK)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Educators, Adult Literacy, Definitions, Educational Finance, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Family Literacy, Leadership, Literacy Education, Politics of Education, Public Policy, Staff Development, Workplace Literacy
Center on Education and Training for Employment, Center Publications, 1900 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090 (order no. IN 355: $6 plus $3.50 postage and handling; quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.
Note: Update of ED 246 308.