Lessons in Learning - September 4, 2008
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
The authors of this document note that while many working-age Canadians have inadequate literacy skills, the situation is even more urgent among Aboriginal Canadians.
Education improves literacy skills for all people. But the authors point out that Aboriginal people have more negative experiences in school than their non-Aboriginal counterparts and are less likely to complete high school. Among the barriers described by Aboriginal students and teachers are discrimination; institutional insensitivity toward Aboriginal cultures; and a lack of awareness of Aboriginal approaches to learning.
In collaboration with the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL), members of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have developed three models to be used as frameworks for measuring the progress of Aboriginal peoples in lifelong learning. The authors point to the need for ongoing work to identify appropriate indicators to apply to these models.
This report is part of a project undertaken for the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN), exploring the relationship between literacy and income.
The authors’ statistical analysis shows that efforts to increase literacy and essential skills could provide significant reductions in Canadians’ reliance on income support from employment insurance, workers’ compensation, and social assistance. This would free up significant fiscal resources for governments.
Investing in literacy would also trigger significant reductions in the current level of social inequality in employment, income, health, and social engagement, the authors note. It is difficult to put an economic value on these benefits, but they would undoubtedly help both individuals and society as a whole.
They urge governments and educational institutions to establish systems that would identify students at all ages who are failing to acquire literacy skills at the expected rate and, in turn, respond to make sure those individuals are receiving the education and training they need to succeed in the long term.
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
The authors of this review have analysed research materials to determine whether it is possible to accurately predict labour market needs.
They explain that there are two major approaches to occupational forecasting: workforce projection and labour market analysis. Workforce projection produces longer-term federal and provincial forecasts, while labour market analyses (LMA) identify and continually adjust to current regional and short-term trends.
Their analysis resulted in a two major conclusions. First, the quality of the literature devoted to labour market forecasting is inconsistent. Second, forecasting research is very much source, location, and time specific, so it is not clear if the models will perform as well in other forecasting situations.
The authors conclude that there is no single forecasting model that can accurately forecast labour market needs in all situations.
This study uses a number of indicators to calculate labour productivity for the tourism sector and, in turn, to determine to what extent demographic characteristics of the labour force affect labour productivity.
The authors found that labour productivity increases with the ratio of capital to labour; the proportion of part-time hours; the share of hours supplied by women; the proportion of immigrant workers; and by the proportion of the most experienced workers.
There are substantial differences in the level of labour productivity across industries. Transportation, which has highest capital labour ratio, also has the highest labour productivity.
A separate study of the combined accommodation and food and beverage services industry, based on provincial data over a 10-year period, found significant differences in labour productivity between provinces. It also found a positive relationship between labour productivity and investment in information and communications technology; public investment per capita; and human capital.
The study is published by the University of Guelph and the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC). For more information about the CTHRC, please click here: http://www.cthrc.ca.
This report card provides a snapshot of the growth of Laubach Literacy of Canada, from 1988 to 1991.
The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) is a large-scale cooperative effort undertaken by governments, national statistics agencies, research institutions and multi-lateral agencies. The development and management of the study were coordinated 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 main goal of this first ALL report is to present initial findings on the level and distribution of skills, and the relationships between skills and important background variables.
Authors: Jocelyn Charron
This literature review, which uses data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) to explore the relationship between literacy and poverty, is part of a project undertaken for the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN).
Based on analysis of the data, the author concludes that literacy proficiency does have an impact on individual earnings. This impact varies from country to country, but appears to be stronger in Canada and the United States.
Different groups do not reap equal benefits from having literacy proficiency, as other general cognitive skills may be equally, if not more, important in explaining earning differences. The existence of collective bargaining and minimum wages rules also play a role in explaining individual earnings differences within a country.
The author notes that while long periods of unemployment tend to erode literacy skills, being employed does not guarantee that individuals will maintain these skills. The nature of their work and their own personal habits also matter.
Adults who improve their literacy proficiency eventually obtain improved earnings, but these gains may take time to materialize.
An Introduction to Community-Based Adult Literacy in British Columbia
Authors: Literacy BC
Learning Without Borders offers an introduction to community-based adult literacy in British Columbia. This resource has been designed to help those unfamiliar with this topic navigate the complexities of the adult literacy field in BC. This book provides a broad picture of adult literacy in BC by surveying its history, explaining some of the challenges, providing a glimpse of the delivery models and introducing the perspective of adult learners. A brief summary of several research reports that are valuable for a full understanding of adult literacy today is also included.
The Right to Read...and Read Well
The higher one's level of literacy, the greater the likelihood that stable employment is attainable. Studies suggest that more people with disabilities function at the lowest literacy levels and that less people with disabilities are employed than the population at large.
This study focuses on issues related to adult literacy for persons with disabilities in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The study researches the factors which contribute to the utilization of community based literacy programs by persons with disabilities; identifies barriers to learning and models which have had success with this diverse population, and; recommends approaches and/or changes necessary to eliminate the barriers to successful literacy learning for adults with disabilities.