ERIC Number: ED360520
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Jun
Myths and Misconceptions in Adult Literacy: A Research and Development Perspective. Policy Brief 93-1.
Wagner, Daniel A.
The public has formed some myths and misconceptions about literacy. No substantive proof supports the grandiose assertion that literacy changes the way humans think and their intelligence. No one who has studied national surveys of adult literacy seriously believes that illiteracy in the United States will be eradicated by 2000. The literacy situation is serious, but similar problems of low literacy are becoming apparent in many European countries as well. Relatively little has been invested in literacy and workplace training and education. Research results suggest the increase in public awareness and attention has not brought about the dramatic gains for which policymakers and the public had hoped. Numeracy receives some, but generally less, attention in most adult basic education programs, although anecdotal evidence on adults suggests the average U.S. worker may lack many quantitative reasoning skills taken for granted in countries such as Japan. Technology for literacy remains an unfulfilled prophecy, largely due to the inability to create, and lack of funding for, instructional techniques appropriate and cost effective for the populations in need of training. Improved delivery systems, enhanced instructional systems that make use of advanced technologies, improved learner assessment and program evaluation, and expansion of well-trained professional staff may bring about change. (Contains 15 endnotes) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Educational Benefits, Educational Development, Educational Finance, Educational Innovation, Educational Research, Labor Force Development, Literacy Education, Misconceptions, Research Needs
National Center on Adult Literacy, University of Pennsylvania, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 (order no. PB93-1: $4, checks payable to Kinko's Copy Center).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.