Authors: Tri-County Literacy Network (TCLN)
This document outlines the Evaluating Outreach Strategies and Events project carried out in the Chatham-Kent, Essex and Lambton counties areas of Ontario during 2002-03. The authors describe how the project evolved from trying to find ways to reach out to potential learners to a pilot implementation strategy that focuses on a targeted outreach model based on word-of-mouth referrals.
The project involved telephone interviews, focus groups, and the preparation of promotional material.
The authors found that single mothers were underrepresented in Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) programs in the area. They recommend involving current or graduate learners as spokespersons to encourage other potential learners to enrol in programs.
An iCCAN Pilot Project in Collaboration with the Rural Routes Initiative - Final Report
This report provides an overview of a literacy tutor-training pilot project delivered via videoconferencing through the iCCAN project, a not-for-profit provincial network of videoconferencing sites. The project was undertaken in association with the Rural Routes Initiative at Alberta’s Norquest College.
In the project, two groups each received two sessions, each two hours in length, of videoconferencing professional development.
The authors report that the project was well received by participants and recommend investing the resources needed to refine the project and offer it again. They also recommend providing training in videoconferencing to remote-site facilitators.
Formative and Summative Evaluation of the “Learning through Partnerships: A Pan-Northern Gathering Project”
In 2010, the literacy councils of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut joined forces for a project that would culminate two years later in a three-day forum on adult learning, literacy, and skills development in northern Canada. The goals of the project, entitled Made in the North, were to explore northern-directed policies and practices that support adult learning; develop partnerships; and share knowledge.
This report offers an evaluation of the project, starting with the initial efforts and continuing through to the forum, held in October 2012.
The authors explain the challenges the organizers faced; provide a timeline for the project; and discuss what worked in the project, and the areas that needed improvement. They note that the event was truly “Made in the North” because of the representation of participants, especially Aboriginal northerners; the showcasing of northern programs and issues; limits on participants from the south; and focus on northern concerns.
Forum participants said they wanted conversations and networking to continue after the forum, both in their own territory and across territories. They are hoping for a website where they can access session presentations, and be able to share their work and resources.
Participants also said that they would like to see another forum like this one within the next two or three years. They suggested that the forum should move to another region and focus on the changes that people have been able to implement since the present forum.
Improving Numeracy Instruction in the LBS Program - Phase II
Authors: Lisa Hagedorn
This report describes phase two of the project "Improving Numeracy Instruction in the LBS [Literacy and Basic Skills] Program". In phase one of the project, practitioners were surveyed and it was found that numeracy learning materials were much in demand and could be very powerful in the process of developing the LBS Program's capacity to deliver adult numeracy training. Practitioners need prepared materials, and they also need support in developing new ones. The process of developing new learning materials could involve practitioners in expanding their repertoires of numeracy teaching strategies and their own numeracy competence – two things they said they wanted to work on. In response to these needs, a model called Collaborative Materials Development was designed and it was tested it in phase two of the project, now complete. This report describes the work and their findings.
Authors: Kathleen Burkhart
Prepared as a requirement for a master of arts degree at Alberta’s Athabasca University, this thesis offers a qualitative approach to research on adult literacy.
The author focuses on participatory literacy education, which is based on the belief that learners themselves should be at the centre of literacy instruction, defining their own needs and working out approaches to meeting those needs.
The author designed a questionnaire to assess how community-based adult literacy programs in Canada use participatory practices in their work. The questionnaire was distributed to 15 adult literacy organizations.
The analysis of the data showed that all 15 organizations use moderate forms of participatory adult literacy education within their programs. However, it appears that one-to-one tutor programs face a greater challenge in incorporating participatory activities that involve peer interaction or group activities, while small-group programs have greater flexibility in that regard.
The author concludes that both one-to-one and small-group programs have strong potential to incorporate participatory approaches into their instruction techniques.
Authors: Rebecca Still
This document is part of a series prepared by literacy practitioner/researchers in Alberta to explore questions relating to literacy.
The author is a coordinator for a rural community-based volunteer tutor adult literacy program that involves about 40 students and 20 tutors a year. The study involved semi-structured interviews with three students and three tutors, along with observations of students as they were reading.
The interviews show that all three tutor-student pairs had similar views about reading and the reading process, agreeing that a good reader practises and reads a lot. Tutors’ responses supported a balanced approach that encourages reading for meaning, as well as using relevant reading material to teach print-based skills.
Conference Report and Resource Guide
WWestnet conceived and organized Expo 06 in an effort to engage businesses from across western Canada in an essential skills event that would focus on best practices in the development, delivery and assessment of integrated workplace based training initiatives. Expo 06 showcased workplace projects and programs that integrate essential skills development into training and daily work. The series of hands-on workshops was framed by a keynote presentation by Dr. J. Myers of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and a closing address by Yvette Souque of the National Literacy Secretariat.
Delegates were able to choose their own learning paths by selecting four of eight possible workshops to attend. These workshops were hands-on sessions that addressed some of the proven ways businesses, often in partnership with unions, approach essential skills training. The format generated interest and excitement about training that incorporates essential skills.
Authors: Edmonton Social Planning Council
This fact sheet draws on information from a variety of sources to provide a look at the nature of disabilities; the supports available in Alberta for people with disabilities; and the areas for improvement in policy related to those with disabilities.
The authors note that “disabilities” is an umbrella term, covering a variety of impairments, limitations on activity, and restrictions on participation.
Help for those with disabilities can include income support, mental health services, educational accommodation, and specific services for those with developmental disabilities.
Citing a report released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2010, the authors point to three major issues restricting employment and social supports for persons with disabilities: a lack of streamlining between federal and provincial governments in coordinating employment supports and benefits; fragmented services and benefits that are difficult to navigate and access; and the lack of a proactive focus in employment programs.
Authors: Edmonton Social Planning Council
This fact sheet examines the impact of small businesses on the economy.
The authors note that Canadian small businesses employ almost half of the country’s workforce, proving that the success of small businesses has a profound effect on the economy.
Statistics show that Canadian firms with fewer than 50 employees accounted for 28 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009, while those with fewer than 500 employees account for about 45 per cent of the GDP.
This is an executive summary of a report on a project aimed at better understanding the factors that affect success in community-based literacy programs in Ontario. While an individual’s characteristics or life circumstances might affect his or her success in a literacy program, the type of training approach must also be considered. This project therefore focuses on answering the question: "What works for whom?" In order to answer this question, researchers developed surveys to gather relevant information and analyzed the results in order to define the indicators of success, both objective and subjective. This executive summary provides background information on the project, describes the study and its results, and offers recommendations.