ERIC Number: ED356427
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Staff Development at the Crossroads.
Lytle, Susan L.; McGuire, Peggy
NCAL Connections, p1,9-10 Apr 1993
Staff development continues to be an important but much-debated topic in adult basic education and adult literacy education. Some staff development professionals start with the "deficit" model, in which learners are presumed to be empty vessels to be filled with knowledge. This model ignores the rich and varied experience that practitioners bring with them, and it suggests that practitioners are not capable of deciding what they need in order to improve their own work or of directing their own professional development. A promising alternative to this often-used approach, the National Center on Adult Literacy's Adult Literacy Practitioner Inquiry Project (ALPIP), was initiated in 1991 to explore a new approach to building the professional work force by making practitioners' questions about their own practice the focus of staff development. ALPIP brings together adult literacy teachers, tutors, and administrators to form an inquiry community. Participants work collaboratively over time to explore topics of common interest, identify program-based needs and issues, critically analyze their own experiences and the literature in adult literacy from a field-based perspective, and carry out inquiry projects in their own program settings. These group inquiries inform each participant's reflective portfolio that leads to the selection of questions for sustained projects. Although each project is unique, two central themes cut across all of the projects to date: (1) the tensions that result from competing paradigms of literacy and learning; and (2) issues related to power in classes and programs. Members of ALPIP are organizing to support presentation and publication of their work and to provide a supportive professional network for members to assume more active roles in leadership. Such structures can enable those most responsible for adult education to grow and change. (KC)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.