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ERIC Number: ED512072
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 127
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
Who, What, How, and Why?: Profiles, Practices, Pedagogies, and Self-Perceptions of Adult Literacy Practitioners
Chandler, Robyn; Tobias, Robert; Boyd, Vivienne; Cates, Julie; Shanahan, Kellie; Solomon, Cathy
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative
This study began in the Spring of 2003, when the Canterbury Adult Basic Education Research Network (CABERN), an informal cross-sector network of local adult literacy researchers and practitioners, sent out a questionnaire. The questionnaire addressed potential respondents by asking: "Are you a tutor engaged in any aspect of adult literacy?" Practitioners were interested, and the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funding allowed the authors to extend the initial survey into a larger, exploratory project. They were interested in representing who adult literacy practitioners thought they were, not as they were defined by others. Findings reveal that most practitioners were female, Pakeha/European or "New Zealander", and 79 percent were over the age of 40. The median period of involvement in adult literacy was between two and five years, with just over 45 percent having been involved for over two and under 10 years. Practitioners' reasons for entry into the field of adult literacy were varied. Questionnaire respondents prioritised pedagogical and philosophical reasons, with enjoying working with adults and/or young adults, a fascination with adult literacy, and the chance to do something worthwhile those most often chosen and ranked most highly. Interviews revealed the range of motivations. Practitioners were located in a range of contexts and situations and they worked with a variety of learners. While over 90 percent of practitioners received remuneration for at least some of their adult literacy work, few saw it in terms of a career, perhaps unsurprising in the light of the lack of opportunities in the field. Appendices include: (1) Who are CABERN; (2) Invitation; (3) Questionnaire; (4) Focus group invitation; (5) Focus group guidelines; (6) Guidelines for interviewers; (7) Example of researcher support material; (8) Evaluation questions; (9) Practice journal; and (10) Relevant training. (Contains 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Available from: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. P.O. Box 3237, Wellington 6140 New Zealand. Tel: +64-4384-7939; Fax: +64-4384-7933; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Adult Basic Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (New Zealand)
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand