Impacts of the Adult Basic Education Experience on the Lives of Participants
The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term impact of ABE on students' lives. The study was funded by the 1992/93 B.C. literacy cost-shared program and sponsored by the Adult Basic Education Association of B.C. and Northwest Community College.
The research methodology included personal interviews in three regions of B.C. with 44 former students who had been away from their last ABE course for at least one year. The students were diverse in age, ethnic origin, and gender and had attended a college, school district, or community-based literacy or ABE program for at least three months. The students volunteered to participate in the study and came forward as a result of local advertising and contacts made by the researchers with instructors and tutors.
Over 90% of participants in the study reported positive impacts from their ABE experience. The study was designed to determine the "essence" of the positive impacts of ABE by uncovering patterns and similarities in the students' stories. The study found that the essence of a positive ABE experience is one that expands the possibilities for informed choice and action in life. "People are learning to learn.....even more importantly, people have learned that they have learned."
The report concludes with a discussion of the implications of the study's findings for planning and delivering ABE/literacy resources.
One of these implications is the economic benefit to society of ABE in facilitating healthier personal and family lifestyles and greater and more informed participation in social relationships of all kinds.
Adult Literacy Contact Centre
622-510 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1L8
Toll free: (800) 663-1293
Tel.: (604) 684-0624
Fax: (604) 684-8520