ERIC Number: ED405081
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Education: Profiles in Diversity and Strength.
Even Start is a family literacy and support program for families with young children. This paper identifies several characteristics of adult learners in order to suggest effective approaches for working with adults to improve literacy skills. The first section presents five case studies illustrating adults with different histories, circumstances, and motivations for improving language and literacy skills. The second section argues that adult learners are diverse in the areas of age, learning abilities and challenges, and culture, which requires adult educators to create opportunities that will be meaningful for different adult learners. The third section proposes that despite much diversity, there are also shared characteristics, including experience, managing changing environments, and parenthood. Meaningful curricula should therefore include real-world, task-oriented transactions and work that reflects values, behavior, and beliefs. The fourth section discusses developing literacy and strengthening families by: (1) addressing the needs of adults through learner-guided curriculum; (2) using experience and existing knowledge to construct new knowledge; (3) creating channels for sharing knowledge between generations, and; (4) creating a sense of community between learners. The final section addresses implications for practice of those points raised in the fourth section. This section provides specific questions that will lead practitioners and educators of adults into successful program development and planning. (Contains 24 references.) (SD)
Descriptors: Adult Development, Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Literacy, Adult Programs, Adult Students, Age Differences, Cultural Context, Cultural Differences, Cultural Influences, Individual Differences, Language Skills, Learner Controlled Instruction, Literacy, Literacy Education, Multicultural Education, Program Content, Program Design, Program Development, Program Improvement
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: RMC Research Corp., Portsmouth, NH.