ERIC Number: ED440254
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Politics, Policy, Practice and Personal Responsibility: Adult Education in an Era of Welfare Reform. NCSALL Reports #10A.
The relationship of literacy to work should be considered in terms of the political and economic conditions that structure the experiences of the working and non-working poor with respect to education and work. Research shows welfare-to-work programs constitute behavioral solutions to what are structural economic problems; literacy alone cannot easily or often overcome effects of class, race, and gender on access to education and job opportunities; part of the difference in training and career paths lies in social networks accessible to individuals of different class and race status; and the problem of welfare dependency is a labor market structure problem. The policy assumption that individuals need education and training to prepare for the existing job market, from which most funding proceeds, leaves out the class, race, and gender dynamics of the labor market and questions about job availability, pay, type of employment, and hiree ability to afford health and child care. A liberating vision for education of the poor and unemployed means acknowledging the dissonance between employers' and workers' interests, funding objectives and learners' purposes, and education as a human right and as a form of job training; providing the intellectual tools to have choices about survival and success strategies and to choose and act on political positions; and building alliances with organizations working to create conditions to challenge inequalities in access to education and jobs. (Contains 39 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Economic Factors, Economically Disadvantaged, Education Work Relationship, Educational Objectives, Equal Education, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Literacy Education, Outcomes of Education, Poverty, Public Policy, Unemployment, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services, Working Poor
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, Boston, MA.