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, May 25, 2007


"I like the new class we are in because it is big and quiet."
I read this comment on the qualities - communities - literacies blog. It made feel relaxed as I pictured the room and the students who feel that they have the space and calm they need in order to learn. Of course, it also made me think of all the tiny, overcrowded, windowless, noisy classrooms I have worked in and how the students and I would sometimes talk about our dream classroom ~ something big and quiet.

It made me reflect on Wendell's comment about software that does not work. "This is a "small bug" in term of the complexity of the programming, but a huge bug in terms of being useful to learners. Imagine an email system that correctly delivered emails 4 out of 5 times."

We sometimes treat weird, cramped, too hot or too cold, airless rooms as a "small bug." Often there is not much we can do about it, but what a huge difference it makes when we can learn in a comfortable environment. It made me ask myself, "Why do we not DEMAND this for ourselves and our learners?" Of course, I think I know the answer to that but that answer is making me restless for change.

Then I learned that, "In fact, the room is smaller than the previous one this learner experienced. That he thinks it's "bigger" says something about the non-physical factors which go into the creation of an appropriate learning space for adults."

Hmmmmmmm.... food for thought. How do we help students feel that they are in a big, quiet room?

And on a sort of related topic, Kate Nonesuch is doing a survey to find out what people in the ABE/Literacy field think about the relationship between learning and learners’ past or current experience of violence.

The survey will be open until July 1, 2007 and you can find it at www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=145613168996. It only takes a few minutes and it is anonymous.

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