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, April 24, 2009

leading lights

I am not sure whether adult education teachers are most appropriately grouped with the artists (people-oriented, open-minded, intuitive, and visionary) or the craftspeople (humane, dedicated, knowledgeable, and wise). Probably a little of both. Actually, definitely a LOT of both.

I do know that adult educators do have a lot to offer the “recovery,” -- to the creation and nourishment of strong communities. And so does Dr. Stephen Brookfield, co-author with Stephen Preskill of Learning as a Way of Leading: Lessons from the Struggle for Social Justice. You can listen to what he says about adult educators as leaders here*. You can download a chapter of the book here. (Thanks again to Nancy Friday for linking me to this fantastic, and as she says, affirming resource.)

To get you started, here are what Brookfield and Preskill refer to as the nine learning tasks of leadership:

1. Learning how to be open to the contributions of others

2. Learning how to reflect critically on one’s practice

3. Learning how to support the growth of others

4. Learning how to develop collective leadership

5. Learning how to analyze experience

6. Learning how to question oneself and others

7. Learning democracy

8. Learning to sustain hope in the face of struggle

9. Learning to create community

It seems to me that this comes pretty close to the list of the skills required of adult literacy workers. These are the skills and learning – the crazy wisdom – literacy teachers and learners demonstrate strongly and daily everywhere they work together. It is certainly this list of learning tasks that shows up in the articles in Literacies.

I wonder when literacy workers and learners will take their rightful places in the corridors of power. I do not think that invitations are coming any time soon. I think that the artists and craftspeople and learning leaders are going to have to collaborate and sneak in the back door while the technocrats are busy guarding the front door.

*Sometimes this site requests a user name and password.
I entered abc for both and it let me in.

1 comment:

Guy Ewing said...

This isn't about the current piece on this blog, but I just want to congratulate Tracey, Tannis and all the contributors to the current issue of Literacies. It's fantastic, a discussion which we must (and will) find ways to continue.

Guy Ewing

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