ERIC Number: ED453361
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb-2
Reference Count: N/A
The Adult Education and Literacy System (AELS) in the United States: Moving from the Margins to the Mainstream of Education.
Sticht, Thomas G.
Recent research on adult education and literacy development (AELD) programs in workplaces that teach English, reading, and mathematics skills integrated with job knowledge indicates they contribute to improved job-related literacy and mathematics skills, improved job productivity, and increased reading to children at home. AELD programs can help adults improve their children's schooling; adults improve their own and their children's health; and the brain grow and stay healthy during adulthood. Mainstreaming the adult education and literacy system (AELS) is central to achieving national education goals. Cultural beliefs about cognitive development and when it is possible and/or desirable to develop it contribute to the marginalization of AELD students and the AELS. Misunderstandings about the AELS have contributed to its being considered by many as a temporary, remedial, second-chance system for undereducated, marginalized adults that will not be needed once schools are reformed and all children master basic skills before graduating. However, the rapidly increasing growth in knowledge has had and will have the effect of constantly increasing the number of adults who can benefit from the nonformal, learner-friendly AELS. Four steps to take to strengthen the AELS as a strategy for making the nation smarter are increase funding, increase enrollments, improve the AELS, and symbolic moves (such as renaming the Workforce Investment Act to reflect the benefits of education beyond the limited goal of improving the workforce). (Contains 19 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Development, Adult Education, Adult Literacy, Cognitive Development, Educational Benefits, Educational Finance, Educational Research, Integrated Curriculum, Intergenerational Programs, Literacy Education, Mixed Age Grouping, Nonformal Education, Numeracy, Parents as Teachers, Productivity, Workplace Literacy
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A