Restoring the Balance
Authors: The Centre for Literacy of Quebec
This document is a bibliography compiled for the 2006 Summer Institute at The Centre for Literacy of Quebec. The selections include lectures, research studies, policy papers and government documents that describe and analyze recent concepts of accountability in the context of government funding in the non-profit sector in several countries. They look at issues of assessment and accountability in the broad field of education and more specifically in the fields of adult literacy and adult basic education.
Each section has been arranged in chronological order to reflect the evolution of ideas over the past two decades. Although far from exhaustive, the selected entries offer a set of essential readings on the topic and a point of entry for further research.
This document is divided into the following sections:
- Concepts of accountability
- Accountability frameworks: government and non-Profits
- Assessment and accountability in education
- Assessment and accountability in adult education
To understand and describe the state of a field, researchers traditionally carry out a literature review. This approach is widely accepted as a way to summarize what is known in the field. With Connecting the Dots: Improving Accountability in the Adult Literacy Field in Canada the authors knew they needed to do that. But more was needed. While a literature review was critical to understanding the conceptual underpinnings of recent initiatives for greater accountability, it was important to know the impact of these measures on the field. To do this, it was necessary to talk to people who work in the adult literacy
field to hear their perspectives and learn about their experiences. The field review presented here offers those voices to complement the literature review.
The report is organized into four sections: how participants defined accountability and the different emphases they place on the concept; a picture based on interviewees’ descriptions of how accountability information is collected,
by whom and the gaps and challenges encountered; the issues associated with the implementation of accountability measures, the need for respectful, knowledgeable relationships and clarity in communication and expectations; and finally the topic of resources and funding related to accountability structures.
Authors: Nick Johnson
In this paper, the author suggests that distance learning is not only here to stay, but will have an unprecedented impact on the educational systems currently in place.
The promise of online learning is that it will one day deliver personalized content to every student, tailored to each individual’s learning style and presented at a pace determined by the individual’s ability and availability.
Whether such a grand promise can be delivered is a topic for testing and debate in the next few years, the author says. At the same time, because of the Internet, more academic information continues to become more readily accessible to more people at a lower cost, and that pattern is not about to change.
Labour Market Update Project
Authors: Prism Economics and Analysis
In this report, the authors point to a combination of factors that add up to difficult times for the plastics industry in Canada. Some factors may be temporary, like the overvalued Canadian dollar. But others, like increased competition from China and India, are part of a new reality the sector must deal with.
The authors also note that a surge in interest in energy efficiency and environmental protection is driving consumer preferences and shaping government policy. Adapting to these challenges by altering products and production is a priority.
They conclude that the plastics sector will overcome its current problems but caution companies to prepare now in order to be able to take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge. A crucial factor will be the recruitment and retention of skilled workers.
The report was published by the Canadian Plastics Sector Council (CPSC), a national not-for-profit association created to explore and address emerging human resources issues in the plastics processing industry.
Series: Learning Throughout Life
This document provides outlines the Action Plan referred to in the Quebec Government Policy on Adult Education and Continuing Education and Training (2002).
The action plan for adult education and continuing education and training is guided by three principles:
1. Knowledge is an important factor in personal growth, economic development, social cohesion and democracy.
2. Adults in Québec must have access to training and be given the opportunity to express their training needs.
3. The state is responsible for adult education and continuing education and training; individuals, businesses and organizations must also be prepared to participate voluntarily and responsibly.
The action plan has four focuses: basic education, job-related continuing education and training, recognition of prior learning and competencies and shared responsibility for funding and education.
Authors: BC Social Innovation Council
In 2011, the BC Social Innovation Council was established to help the government of British Columbia find new ways to tackle social challenges. The council included representatives of government, Aboriginal and community organizations, and business agencies with an interest in social entrepreneurship, including credit unions, foundations, investors, and social entrepreneurs.
This final report from the council contains eleven recommendations, focusing on five key areas: supporting social enterprise; legislative enablement; social innovation labs; engaging communities; and learning and research.
The recommendations include establishing a social enterprise investment tax credit to attract new investors and capital for non-profits and social enterprises; including social enterprises under eligibility criteria for government-sponsored business development programs that target small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and completing the establishment of Community Contribution Companies (CCCs) as a new corporate structure to raise capital and achieve a social mission.
Some of the recommendations focus specifically on the needs of British Columbia’s Aboriginal people, including one that recommends the formation of a broadly based partnership to develop a targeted strategy to build social entrepreneurship and social innovation capacity in the province’s First Nations communities.
For more on the council’s work, please click here: http://www.innovatebc.ca/.
It worked for Bill. Will it work for Carol?
Authors: Fay Holt Begg
This document is one in a series prepared by literacy practitioner/researchers in Alberta to investigate a range of questions. Here, the author looks at whether it is possible to adapt the Writing to Read method, which teaches children to write as a precursor to reading, for use with adult literacy students.
The author had already worked with one adult for whom the method proved very successful, so she decides to use it with another adult learner. This time, the outcome is very different, underscoring the importance of tailoring tutoring to the needs of the individual learner.
In particular, the experience emphasizes the need to assess the learner before planning a course of study and the importance of mutual trust between tutor and learner.
In this report, the authors discuss the cost and the importance of investing in literacy. They suggest that advanced literacy is the single most important tool that Canadians need to compete in the global economy and present estimates of the total cost of raising the literacy skill of the adult population to Level 3.
This report includes an executive summary and forward followed byfive chapters:
Chapter 1- Introduces the report and provides background on the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey and the International Survey of Reading Skills (ISRS) studies upon which analyses in the report are based.
Chapter 2 - Summarizes what was measured in the ISRS and what it means
Chapter 3 - Defines segments in the Canadian literacy market
Chapter 4 - Contains estimates of the costs and benefits of releasing Canada’s economic potential through literacy instruction
Chapter 5 - Summary and conclusions
This document offers an account of the Adult Learning Knowledge Centre’s (AdLKC’s) fourth and final annual symposium, held in Montreal, Quebec, in June 2009.
The authors have provided summaries of 20 presentations that were offered in five concurrent sessions, focusing on such issues as non-formal adult learner programming at post-secondary institutions; adult learning in criminal justice settings; ethical issues in community-based research; and health and learning.
They have also summarized the discussions presented during three plenary sessions, which focused on equitable access to learning; learning strategies for a troubled economy; and the future of adult learning in Canada.
The authors have also included a list of symposium participants.
An Annotated Bibliography
Authors: The Centre for Literacy of Quebec
This bibliography was compiled for The Centre for Literacy’s 2004 Summer Institute: Adult Basic Education: Impact of Policy on Practice: International Perspectives. The references and annotations listed are for research studies, advocacy papers, and government documents that describe and discuss the role that policy plays in shaping program-level structures and practices in the adult literacy and basic education sector in Canada and other countries. The readings listed offer a solid starting point for more in-depth research.
Section one contains annotated references (international resources), section two lists annotated websites (international), and section three provides links to provincial programs and policies in Canada.