ERIC Number: ED355388
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Invitations to Inquiry: Rethinking Staff Development in Adult Literacy Education. Technical Report TR92-2.
Lytle, Susan L.; And Others
Inquiry-based staff development is a promising direction for rethinking practice and research and for generating knowledge from a field-based perspective for adult literacy. Rethinking staff development entails investigating a number of current assumptions: the nature and function of literacy learning in adulthood; adult literacy practitioners as teachers and learners; the concept of a knowledge base for adult literacy and practitioners' role in the generation and use of new knowledge; and relationships between professionalization of the literacy work force and curriculum for literacy education. The Adult Literacy Practitioner Inquiry Project uses a model for inquiry-centered staff development in which participants work collaboratively to conduct systematic inquiries at their program settings, critically analyze current theory and research from field-based perspectives, and make problematic the social, political, and cultural arrangements that structure literacy learning and teaching in particular contexts. Initial interviews with 21 participants in a research seminar reveal that practitioners bring extensive prior knowledge to their work, have had no opportunities to improve practice through collaborative learning, and seek opportunities to examine critically their own practices. Their opportunities to learn on the job are constrained by demoralizing problems with physical conditions, time pressures, and isolation. Findings indicate a need for staff development that regards people's diverse routes into the field as assets, begins with practitioners' questions, recognizes the need for building of community, and creates contexts for knowledge generation. (Contains 73 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Educators, Adult Literacy, Educational Research, Information Seeking, Inquiry, Learning Processes, Learning Strategies, Literacy Education, Models, Professional Development, Research Methodology, Staff Development, Teacher Researchers, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.
Note: For a related document, see CE 063 228.