Authors: Thomas G. Sticht
Drawing upon a variety of studies, the author argues that adult literacy program can increase their ROI by developing 'programs that maximize the intergenerational transfer of educational benefits from parents to children, and functional-context education programs [that] integrate basic skills instruction with job and parenting skills training'.
Moving From the Margins to the Mainstream of Education
Authors: Thomas G. Sticht
Describes several ways in which increased literacy in adults can impact positively at work, at home, and in the community, including improvement in children's schooling and health. Argues that the adult education and literacy system in the U. S. should no longer be marginalized.
An Act Respecting Employment Insurance in Canada
Authors: Susan Sussman
This submission from the Movement for Canadian Literacy looks at the way in which Bill C-12: an Act respecting employment insurance in Canada, will support the development of Canada's human resources, and in particular how it will affect the millions of Canadians who have difficulty with the literacy demands they encounter each day at home, in their communities and in their jobs.
Series: WWestNet's The bottom line
This issue includes articles on a symposium held in Calgary to consider the results of the Canadian component of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS); plans for a workplace literacy forum to be held in Yellowknife; and the link between literacy retention and workplace literacy demands.
Another article challenges myths about literacy, including the view that literacy and education are synonymous; the belief that immigration is a significant contributor to literacy problems in Canada; and the idea that literacy skills, once learned, are never lost.
The authors of this study examine the determinants of literacy and numeracy among native-born Canadians. The role of literacy and numeracy as determinants of labour market outcomes is assessed. The effects of years of schooling are also assessed. Significant differences in the male and female estimates are noted.
Enhancing literacy levels in the workplace improves bottom-line performance for Canada's employers and gives employers a better chance for success in their careers. The Results of the Conference Board of Canada's study, The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace, demonstrate that there are clear economic benefits for both employers and employees in improving workplace literacy. The findings contained in this Conference Briefing and in the research report, show that employers enhance the performance of their businesses in a wide variety of way that strengthen the bottom line, and employees are better able to succeed in the workplace when their literacy skills improve.
These findings are significant for both business and individuals. In the past, choices about investing in literacy were often made without having the right information to make the best- informed decision. Today, however, there is growing recognition that literacy is such a critical factor in corporate and personal success that it demands greater consideration and understanding. Employers are beginning to pay more attention to the potential impact of literacy on their business success, and employees are asking themselves to what extent literacy skill levels affect their own personal success and economic well being. This study clearly shows that they should be even more attentive to the literacy issue than they are today.
Literacy is important because it affects our human resource capability. A nation's human resource capability is the key to future competitiveness in an age when barriers to trade are disappearing, capital can be moved quickly, and natural resources are comparatively lowly valued. As a major trading nation, Canada's companies face significant competition in the marketplace. Globalization means that companies are increasingly faced with stiff international competition at home and abroad. Canada has traditionally enjoyed a comparative advantage in workforce skills over many of its competitors. However, recent rapid advances in the literacy skills of employees in other countries threaten our advantage; the competitiveness and profitability of our businesses are at risk. At the same time, the growing complexity of jobs in Canadian workplaces heightens the demands being placed on Canadian workers. For many, the literacy skills that earlier enabled them to do their jobs effectively are no longer sufficient for them to perform adequately today. Workers need to continuously acquire new skills and qualifications to succeed in modern workplaces.
Authors: Audrey M Thomas
This resource includes the following:
- Information on who are the low-literate adults?
- What is literacy and why is it important in our society?
- Why do low-literate adults not participate in programs?
- What participants say about coming to adult basic literacy programs?
- And what about dropouts?
- Learner recruitment and retention
- Useful resources
Literacy Skills for the Knowledge Society
While most people can read, the real question is whether their reading and writing skills meet the challenge of living and working in today's information-rich and knowledge intensive society and economy. This latest report on the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) Literacy Skills for the Knowledge Society tells us that literacy means more than knowing how to read, write or calculate. It involves understanding and being able to use the information required to function effectively in the knowledge-based societies that will dominate the twenty-first century.
The purpose of formal schooling has always been to ensure that new generations develop the skills they require. Yet, the challenge of maintaining and improving the literacy skills of adults is an issue that is much broader than formal education. The International Adult Literacy Survey reveals that literacy skills can be lost if they are not used throughout life. Consequently the study argues for the development of a culture committed to learning and to the creation of literacy-rich environments wherever people live and work, that is, in the home, in the community and in places of employment. It suggests that an investment in literacy is a long-term interest-bearing bond which pays substantial benefits for individuals, for employers and for nations.