Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Friday, January 18, 2008

learner centred

On Wednesday, January 9, 2008 Statistics Canada released a summary of the International Survey of Reading Skills 2005 in The Daily

"The study ... was a follow-up survey of the Canadian component of the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (IALLS) that measured literacy skills among individuals aged 16 to 65 in Canada and six other countries.

The ISRS reassessed about 2,000 Canadians from all literacy level[s] but focused on those whose literacy scores in the IALSS fell into levels 1 or 2, the lowest of five."

Here is my favourite part:
"The study suggests that the approach to improving reading levels for people with the lowest proficiency will likely have to vary from individual to individual. That is because their specific reading skills differ widely and thus, the teaching methods will vary according to learners' needs."



Wendell said...

Mmmm... Somebody sent me that link. I agree absolutely (of course), but wasn't sure what to say about it.

That Stats Can site says all sorts of wacky and contradictory things about adult literacy. (I wish I could remember the last real arm-waving thing they said - all I can remember was how horrified I was at it.) The Daily reminds me of any number of daily news outlets where the "story of the day" doesn't bear any relationship to last week's news - or next week's, for that matter.

So, here's my quandary: do I post about Stats Can stories only when I agree with them, or all the time, or do I ignore the site all together?

Stats Canada has a reputation for honest dealings and hard facts - I guess because they use a lot of numbers or something - but I don't know anymore if that reputation is deserved. It's one thing to gather data for the country. It's another to make - or pass on - interpretive finding and diagnostic suggestions.

Even when we find them agreeable.

literacies publisher said...

Yes. It is a quandry. I feel that in literacy we spend quite a bit of time debunking literacy stats - or trying to put them in their place. Or trying to explain why literacy stats should have little impact on policy or practice. I kind of like this study because, to me, it looks as if they are debunking themselves - if you will pardon the expression.

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