Authors: Grant Johnston
This paper looks at whether an increase in the basic literacy skills of adults would have a positive effect on the New Zealand economy. It finds good evidence for the benefits of literacy: studies
consistently find that adults with better literacy skills are more likely to be employed, and to earn more, than those with poorer literacy skills, even when taking account of other factors which affect work performance.
There is little rigorous evidence, however, for the benefits of adult literacy training and almost no accompanying information on the costs of this training.
While there is a good case for an increased focus on adult literacy, and on workplace literacy in particular, these findings suggest a cautious approach to expanding publicly-funded adult literacy programmes.
There is a clear need for more and better New Zealand-based research, for piloting innovative literacy programmes and for undertaking good-quality evaluations. A modest increase in literacy training may not materially affect economic performance.
ANNOTATION: This report summarizes what was learned from a community outreach program held during the first six months of 2008. The African Canadian Knowledge Exchange gathered information at eight meetings held in March and April in Atlantic Canada. The goal of the meetings was to identify the learning needs of African Canadian adults; how those needs could be met; the challenges to be considered in meeting those needs; and who should be involved in the process and at what stage.
The common themes that emerged from the meetings were the need for more programming, leadership, finances and healing.
The authors recommend holding another meeting to bring together African Canadian people and organizations to discuss the challenges they face; identifying an existing organization in the African Canadian community that would be willing to take on the responsibility for advancing the learning agenda; developing a mentorship program; and establishing learning centres in each African Canadian community to improve adults' access to further learning opportunities.
The report includes a history of the African Canadian presence in Atlantic Canada and a section summarizing points raised in discussions held during the project.
Women's Education Des Femmes, Fall, Vol. 9, No. 2
Authors: Margaret Anderson-Clarke
This article profiles Toronto's "African Training and Employment Centre", which offers training programs to Toronto's African community, including a micro-computer skills training course, ESL, life skills, pre-employment preparation, and a Computer Numerical Control Operator Program.
The article is presented in English with a summary provided in French.
Pre-School to Adult
Authors: NWT Literacy Council
Over the years, many people have asked us to put together a package of information on Aboriginal literature that is suitable for different age groups. That task, however, is not particularly easy. An extensive array of material is available nowadays, but should it all be included in such a list?
Considerable debate surrounds what is sometimes called “appropriation of voice” – when a person, no matter how sympathetic, depicts someone from another culture. We can only say that we have tried our best to be selective, and appreciate any feedback that people might have about our list.
Presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick (LCNB) in September 2010, this report summarizes the organization’s activities in the preceding year.
Among the highlights of the year were the development of a comprehensive directory of services and programs available in New Brunswick’s Aboriginal community; continuing work on a project designed to build capacity for family literacy; and the start of planning for LCNB’s first regional learning disabilities workshop.
In August 2010, the annual Peter Gzowski Invitational (PGI) Golf Tournament raised more than $150,000 for literacy and Essential Skills programs and services in New Brunswick.
This report, presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick (LCNB) in September 2011, includes a summary of activities for 2010-2011; a report from the organization’s president; a financial statement; and a message from the coalition’s honorary patron, writer Sheree Fitch.
Among the highlights of the year was the completion of the Building Capacity for Family Literacy Project, which included six round table sessions and two sessions involving conversations with parents.
In April 2011, the LCNB held its first writing contest. The theme, “Lifelong Learning: the Future of New Brunswick,” was chosen to tie in with International Adult Learners Week, April 2-9. Twenty submissions were received and prizes were awarded to five adult learners.
The year also included the first meeting of the Provincial Literacy Partners group, which is made up of representatives from the LCNB; the Fédération d'alphabétisation du Nouveau-Brunswick (FANB); the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD); and the Workplace Essential Skills and Community Adult Learning Programs of the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. The goal of the group is to ensure good communication among those working in the field of literacy and Essential Skills.
Authors: Célinie Russell
The purpose of this study was to discover strategies for encouraging adult francophones with poor literacy skills to articulate a need for literacy training and strategies that education centres can use to answer that need adequately. A literature review identified several obstacles to participating in adult education programs: a lack of interest in adult education, a very low value placed on education, and a belief that the expected payback from adult education does not justify the effort it requires. A literature search identified the one-stop access approach and integrated training programs as two possible ways of overcoming obstacles to participation in adult education and providing the types of training that are in greatest demand.
Lessons in Learning – February 21, 2008
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
The authors note that improvements in post-secondary educational attainment are an important response to the growing demand for skills in the Canadian labour market. However, in addition to academic skills, employers require their employees to have occupational skills, including both job-specific technical skills and “soft skills” like interpersonal communication and teamwork.
The authors say that many post-secondary students turn to programs that include an experiential learning component – such as co-operative education, internships or other forms of work placements – in order to develop a broader range of occupational skills.
The authors discuss ways to expand and improve experiential learning opportunities in Canada, including increasing awareness of such opportunities; implementing incentive programs; and ensuring that experiential learning programs provide students with good quality learning environments.
Fact Sheet 5
The CAMA Literacy and Essential Skills in Municipal Workplaces Project has developed a six-part series of fact sheets on workplace literacy and essential skills. The fact sheets are:
1. Myths and facts about workplace literacy and essential skills
2. Why municipal workplaces are involved in literacy and essential skills
3. How municipal workplaces are tackling the issues
4. Challenges and solutions
5. Best practices
6. What will your return on investment be?
About this fact sheet:
Since the early 1990s, as workplace learning programs were being successfully introduced in municipal workplaces across Canada, CAMA has gathered a lot of valuable information on the factors that made them work. This fact sheet highlights this knowledge in the form of Best Practices.
Authors: Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC)
Prepared by the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC), now called Essential Skills Ontario, this document takes a historical look at literacy from the 19th century through to present-day programming in that province.
It includes sections about federal involvement in literacy; the history of French language education rights in Ontario; deaf literacy; and the connection between literacy and social justice.
The authors have also included material about specific organizations such as Laubach Literacy Ontario, Frontier College, the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, and Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes (COFA).
While much of the document is focused on literacy efforts in Ontario, the authors have also included information about the Antigonish Movement, an adult education initiative that began in Nova Scotia; Jane Addams, a social reformer who founded Chicago’s Hull House to help the poor of that city; and the Port Royal Experiment, started during the American Civil War to help former slaves become self-sufficient.
To learn more about Essential Skills Ontario, click here: http://www.essentialskillsontario.ca/.