Collection: Research Materials
In this study, the authors try to understand the evolution of adult literacy research by analyzing material published in “The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education,” a peer-reviewed publication that first appeared in 1987.
Based on their analysis of the material, the authors suggest that seven metaphors can be used to depict the current state of literacy scholarship. For example, literacy can be viewed as a means of emancipation, or it can be viewed as a commodity. Other metaphors include a continuum of formal and informal learning; literacy as a relationship; and literacy as a critical social practice.
The findings also suggest the existence of a triangle of three solitudes: academic researchers; practitioners; and government sponsors. The authors note that practitioners only occasionally referenced the work of adult literacy academics, while academic researchers rarely acknowledged the contributions of practitioners. With some exceptions, the literature of government and its partners typically ignored both the practitioner and academic research.
The absence of cross-authorship and the lack of cross-dialogue within this triangle raises concerns, the authors note.