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ERIC Number: EJ1125540
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2169-0480
"What I Feel in My Heart": Literacy Practices of and for the Self among Adults with Limited or No Schooling
Baumgartner, Lisa M.
Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education, v5 n2 p60-64 Sum 2016
The purpose of this study was to understand the literacy practices of individuals in Africa and the Americas who had between one and seven years of schooling. The questions investigated included: "In what literacy practices do adults with limited or no schooling engage for personal fulfillment? and (2) What do these practices reveal about the nature of literacy for individuals who are often characterized as illiterate?" (abstract, p. 422). Viewing literacy as a social practice, the authors performed a cross-case analysis of 13 purposively selected case studies that included information from 98 individuals from the Americas and Africa. These 13 case studies were part of a larger 24 case study called the Cultural Practices of Literacy Study (CPLS), where the authors collected case data on how literacy is practiced in different cultural contexts. The authors used two methods of cross-case analysis to analyze the 13 cases. In the analysis of a case, researchers closely examine the particular case for patterns whereas using the variable case method, the authors look for themes between cases (Miles & Huberman, 1994, as cited in Perry & Homan, 2015). In the initial data analysis, the researchers found that purposes for engaging in literacy included: (1) literacy-related purposes (e.g. "to help children read"); (2) spirituality (e.g. "to thank God"); (3) entertainment (e.g. "to imagine cooking different dishes"); (4) personal/artist expression (e.g. "to reflect on life and personal relationships"); and (5) community participation (e.g. "to organize a social event") (p. 435). To understand and analyze the context of each participant's literacy practices, the researchers constructed a narrative for each participant that consisted of the person's background including formal schooling, literacy practices, and the respondent's beliefs about her/his literacy abilities. Then the authors looked across cases to find themes. [This Research Digest presents a review of Perry, K. H., & Homan, A. "'What I Feel in My Heart': Literacy Practices of and for the Self among Adults with Limited or No Schooling." (2015). Journal of Literacy Research 46(4), 422-454. See EJ1058872.]
Commission on Adult Basic Education. PO Box 620, Syracuse, NY 13206. Tel: 888-442-6223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico; Canada; Michigan; Bolivia; Puerto Rico; Uganda
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A