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The Changing Face of Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL: An evolving landscape of practice Yvonne Hillier, City University.

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Presentation on theme: "The Changing Face of Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL: An evolving landscape of practice Yvonne Hillier, City University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Changing Face of Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL: An evolving landscape of practice Yvonne Hillier, City University

2 4 regional case studies –practitioners, regional policy makers Satellite studies –Friends Centre, Gatehouse Project, Prisons and Unions Key people NCDS cohort interviews Documentary evidence and archive collection

3 Analysis Frameworks Time Location Individual life histories of trajectories for people or organisations. Key moments of tension or conflict Deliberative Policy Analysis (Hajer and Wagenaar, 2003)

4 Key findings Mid 1970s: Literacy Campaign led by a coalition of voluntary agencies with a powerful media partner, the BBC. 1980s: Provision developed substantially, supported by Local Education Authority Adult Education Services and voluntary organizations, with leadership, training and development funding from a national agency (Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Agency, ALBSU, later the Basic Skills Agency, BSA)

5 Key findings 1989 – 1998: Depletion of LEA funding and control, statutory status of ALLN through a more formalized further education (FE) system, dependent on funding through a national funding body. 1998- present: Development of Skills for Life policy: New government strategy unit created, £1.5 billion of government money is committed.

6 Primary Remedial Special English as a Foreign Language Liberal Adult Education Vocational Further Education Radical Adult Education Theoretical and Pedagogical Influences on Adult Basic Skills

7 Enduring Tensions Professionalisation versus voluntarism Nomenclature of the field and its participants: the tension around discourse but also the deeper ideological debates Different groupings in the field of adult continuing education: eg literacy, numeracy and ESOL; private trainers v college v community-based tutors; voluntary and statutory.

8 Enduring Tensions Marketisation v collaboration Rights v obligations Boundary issues about what counts as ALLN. These are currently especially sharp around ICT and around notions of key skills and basic skills. embedded versus stand alone provision for ALN

9 Theres trends when I look back at it. There was all this individualised learning and then there was group learning and then there was open learning in basic skills, then there was family learning and now theres work placed learning. That seems to be the latest bit of the evolution I feel, new students, new ways of working (RP, Manchester).

10 Ive always had some sort of groupiness even if its been later on in the session or it hasnt had a session at all, Ive always tried to get people to communicate with each other, because I think were social beings and I dont think we learn very well in isolation. And if weve been somebody who's struggled with learning the last thing anyone wants to do is work in isolation. So I think the array of orange and blue boxes tends to reinforce the working in isolation and the working from the poor worksheets that have been photocopied from these dreadful resources (MH, Leicestershire) But the idea that people can just come in and work their way through packs with tapes or whatever, it sort of just destroys that, any human contact and the advantages of being a group, you know (JN, Manchester)

11 Certainly when the FEFC first came in it was so rigid that it killed off that student centred way of working. Because everything had to be packaged before you even knew what the student wanted, you know it was just crazy. So thats loosening up because really the LSC stuff is considerably better, I think from the point of view of allowing you to work with the learner and its much more focussed I think on the learner (JC, Manchester) We have a rather narrow depressing view of education these days and I think nothing has emphasised that better than the basic skills strategy. Its not wrong, its just too narrow, it doesnt understand why the whole set of reasons why people need literacy and why they want it. (JD, London)

12 I always… enjoyed it and believed in what I was doing. I felt that it had a value and that I worked with people who felt likewise. … And there are levels of trust and respect that I dont think Ive had since (AR,Leics) And we were all on a crusade really, we did see ourselves as doing something very important and so useful (AZ, London) And weve managed, you know, like little resistant fighters, to keep going for a long time (JB,Manchester)

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