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.

Monday, June 25, 2007

love-ly llo

Nancy Friday and I went to the Laubach Literacy Ontario Conference in Waterloo, Ontario to facilitate two workshops (one for tutors and program workers and one for students) about AlphaRoute online courses.

The less-than-highlights:

  • The CIPMS presentation where we were repeatedly told that our perceptions and knowledge were not enough anymore. We were told that our evaluation activities must be 'deliberate and purposeful', 'valid and reliable', and 'internationally recognized' because our new reason for carrying them out is so governments can show the impacts literacy programs have on communities and economies.
  • The CIPMS presentation where we were told to reevaluate our use of resources in order to accommodate our new work. We were told that one program that has been successful in implementing CIPMS has turned all the work with learners over to volunteers so the staff can focus on data collection, analysis and strategic planning.
  • That there was no time or space for critical thinking at the CIPMS presentation. But then again, if our perceptions and knowledge are no longer enough...
  • Well, the whole CIPMS presentation.
But forget about all of that because here come the highlights:
  • The amazing insights, perceptions and knowledge of literacy tutors, workers and students.
  • The way LLO integrates the insights, perceptions and knowledge of all three groups equally into it's work.
  • The way LLO validates the insights, perceptions and knowledge of all three groups equally.
  • The way LLO stays grounded in grassroots, people-centred processes.
  • The way LLO focusses on how its work affects people and how they can work and play in their communities and communities of practice.
  • The way LLO supports and fosters the development of communities of practice.
  • That what the ED, Lana Faessler, called out as she flew past me in the hall was, "Are you having fun?"
  • That what disappointed the President, Helen McLeod, about the morning workshop was that I was not as silly as had been promised.
  • That what the web designer, Sheila Roberts, who came to both workshops, said about the afternoon workshop was that I was funnier.
  • That the food was nutritious and delicious ~ we felt well cared for.
  • That we laughed all the way through the AGM as we learned important stuff.
  • That we cried all the way through the awards ceremony as we cheered people we love and cherish.
  • That they think this work is so important they put together this conference with NO funding!
Thank you LLO.


Nancy Friday said...

Tracey, you really captured it well! Participating in the Laubach Literacy Conference was truly like candy for me - a real spa moment for sure.

I know that celebrations of literacy and learning together take place in many programs throughout the year - often including the recognition of achievements of students and acknowledging the many hours of dedicated contributed by volunteer tutors and students to keep programs running and to preserve and honour the values underlying the effort.

All that takes place underneath the mantle of the reporting systems that mainly the staff of the programs interact with.

If staff aren't interacting with the students and tutors, I really don't know how they can survive - pedagogically, spiritually, and critically.

Finding the balance is the key I think - and taking cues from the students themselves because they know the way.


literacies publisher said...

I know - I was shocked at that suggestion. I am not sure how many of us chose this work because we wanted to do data collection and analysis but that is not my dream.

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