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ERIC Number: ED528874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 333
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Learning a Living: First Results of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey
OECD Publishing (NJ1)
The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) is a large-scale co-operative effort undertaken by governments, national statistics agencies, research institutions and multi-lateral agencies. The development and management of the study were co-ordinated by Statistics Canada and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the United States Department of Education, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC) and the Institute for Statistics (UIS) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The survey instruments were developed by international teams of experts with financing provided by the Governments of Canada and the United States. A highly diverse group of countries and experts drawn from around the world participated in the validation of the instruments. Participating governments absorbed the costs of national data collection and a share of the international overheads associated with implementation. The ALL study builds on the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), the world's first internationally comparative survey of adult skills undertaken in three rounds of data collection between 1994 and 1998. The foundation skills measured in the ALL survey include prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. Additional skills assessed indirectly include familiarity with and use of information and communication technologies. This volume presents an initial set of findings for a group of seven countries or regions that collected data in 2003. They include Bermuda, Canada, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, the United States and the Mexican State of Nuevo Leon. As this report goes to press a second group of countries is in the field preparing for their ALL data collection in 2005. The findings are presented in 11 chapters. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the ALL study. Chapter 2 compares the basic distributions of skill by age, gender and country. The chapter also presents evidence on how rapidly skill profiles have changed over time for those countries where such analyses could be conducted. Chapter 3 explores the relationship between each skill domain and education at various levels. Chapter 4 documents the role skill plays in formal adult education and training markets and the effects of education and skill on continuing learning in informal and non-formal settings at home and at work. Chapter 5 traces the influence of skill on employment and unemployment and on the transition from school to work. Chapter 6 explores connections between the emergence of the knowledge economy, reading, writing and numeracy practices at work, and mismatch between observed skill and skill requirements at work. Chapter 7 presents evidence on the profound effects of skill on earnings from work and investment income. Chapter 8 focuses on the relationships between familiarity and use of information and communication technologies, labour market outcomes and the social distribution of ICT use and familiarity. Chapter 9 sheds light on the relative skill levels of immigrants and on the implications of between-country differences in immigration patterns. Chapter 10 concentrates on the relationship between parents' education and skills, patterns of skill use and how engagement in various activities at home, at work and during leisure can vary by skill level. Chapter 11 examines the relationship between skill and summary measures of physical and mental health and overall life satisfaction. Annexed are: (1) A Construct-Centered approach to Understanding What was Measured in the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey; (2) Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey Survey Methodology; and (3) Principal Participants in the Project. Individual chapters contain endnotes and references. (Contains 70 figures, 83 tables and 18 boxes.) [For related report, "Literacy for Life: Further Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey," see ED528869.]
OECD Publishing. 2, rue Andre Pascal, F-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France. Tel: +33-145-24-8200; Fax: +33-145-24-8500; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education
Audience: Community; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Identifiers - Location: Bermuda; Canada; Italy; Mexico; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International Adult Literacy Survey
IES Cited: ED485371; ED492050