ERIC Number: ED457410
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The POWER of Adult Education: Moving the Adult Education and Literacy System of the United States from the Margins to the Mainstream of Education.
Sticht, Thomas G.
The Adult Education and Literacy System (AELS) has been systematizing and promoting adult education in the United States since 1966, when the Adult Education Act (AEA) was passed. Today, some 4,000 organizations operate under the rules and regulations of the latest reauthorization of the AEA, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA). From 1966 through 1999, the number of adults enrolled in the programs funded through this act increased at an average rate of almost 100,000 per year, growing from 377,000 in 1966 to more than 3.6 million in 1999. The power of the AELS results from findings that the same dollars used to help adults learn actually do "double duty" by generating additional outcomes that produce a wide variety of benefits for adults, their children, communities, and the nation as a whole. Benefits include improved productivity at work, at home, and in the community, improved self-confidence, improved health of children of learners, improved productivity in the schools, and less recidivism in the criminal justice system. Despite the many valuable contributions of the AELS, however, the system remains marginalized and under- funded, largely because the socioeconomic status of the adults seeking literacy education leads to their being considered less important in society and stereotyped as less deserving because they "should have learned literacy skills as children." Moving the AELS from the margins to the mainstream of education can be accomplished by taking these three important steps: (1) increase funding; (2) increase enrollments; and (3) improve the adult education and literacy system. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Disadvantaged, Educational Benefits, Educational Finance, Educational History, Educational Improvement, Educational Legislation, Educational Trends, Enrollment Trends, Federal Legislation, Literacy Education, Participant Characteristics, Program Effectiveness, Program Improvement, Social Indicators
For full text: http://www.nald.ca/fulltext/sticht/power/cover.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Adult Education Act 1966; Workforce Investment Act 1998 Title II