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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

literacy meanderings

Here are some of the comments by literacy workers on Carol Goar's article, Put education focus on ABC not PhD:

Reality Check
As a volunteer with a local Literacy program, I can assure you that the problem is real. And let me be clear, it is local agencies like ours who are making the difference, not governments. While we receive funding from the Ontario government, that funding has not increased in 10 years. We now have to do a significant amount of fund-raising to keep our program going. Without the efforts of our local community and dedicated staff and volunteers, there might be no literacy training at all.
Submitted by Binger

Needs Adult Literacy
Thanks for bringing attention to this issue. As someone who is working in the 'trenches' with adults whom have either fallen through the education system's cracks, or whom are in need of upgrading assistance so they can find employment, I must say that I am disappointed in the government's lack of support, both provincially and federally. There has been a great deal of attention focused on retraining for employment, and although this is important, what we have found in our literacy centre, is that huge numbers cannot be retrained because their literacy skills are too low, and/or they do not have a grade 12 diploma, because they left school and got jobs that did not require one. Now they must have one. Someone once said that the health of a society is judged by its weakest members. These members, who are trying to better themselves, and contribute to our society, deserve our support.
Submitted by literacywarrior

Literacy is the Foundation
Ontario workers are being laid off by the thousands and are demanding access to upgrading. Yet the Ontario government continues starve literacy & essential skills programs offered by community-based agencies, school boards and colleges. There is overwhelming research that the investment into literacy training would boast our economy, our GDP and an individual's skills & quality of life. The government just announced the adoption of the "Creativity Economy" characterized by thinking skills, information use, and teamwork. Guess what literacy programs teach along with the 3 Rs? Those exact skills along with continuous learning and communication skills. What is our government waiting for? When will they invest in the vision they claim to believe in?
Submitted by Literacy Worker

literacy in Ontario
First of all let me echo the previous comment - the reductionist policy that promotes literacy as important only in relation to employment is short-sighted and ultimately damaging to our communities and culture. Far from supporting creativity or a "learning culture" the provincial policymakers and their counterparts at the federal level have systematically undercut the notion of literacy as learning and access to literacy learning as a right. Carol, you have been one of the very few public champions of literacy - and it would be great if you could connect with literacy students and providers in the province so that their real need and concerns could be heard.
Submitted by Maire

What literacy learning is all about
Carol, in an earlier comment I suggested that you might want to connect with literacy students and providers - a good place to start might be at Wendell Dryden's blog - Wendell is a literacyinstructor in New Brunswick - here's the link to his blog http://wendell-communitylit.blogspot.com/ It is well worth a visit - I guarantee that you will get a unique and powerful "view" of what literacy learning and teaching is all about
Submitted by Maire

And for the aforementioned Wendell's response - and what I wish I had said - click here.

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