Practitioners who are best equipped to offer effective literacy programs are ones who can build on a thorough understanding of adult literacy learners and the factors that affect their learning. A certain level of knowledge and expertise in this area has been identified by the Adult Literacy Educator Core Skills List as essential for educators who work with adult learners in Ontario. Developed by Managers and Administrators of the Literacy and Basic Skills Program, the ALECSL document constitutes the standard by which quality practice in adult education can be recognized and measured.
Click on Adult Literacy Educator Core Skills List to see the complete list.
The first section of the Core Skills List focuses on professional practice that has to do with Approaches to Adult Literacy and Adult Learners. The essential skill in that area is the ability to:
“create a positive learning environment for learner groups in their diverse social/economic/cultural contexts.”
But what does that mean exactly? It raises a few questions:
- What does it take to “create a positive learning environment for learner groups in diverse socio-economic and cultural contexts”?
- What would that positive learning environment look like, exactly, in an LBS classroom?
- How would an instructor’s skill in this area be recognized?
The ALECSL goes on to list a number of ways in which this skill is demonstrated, i.e. an instructor who has this skill:
- accepts and affirms different social groups in their settings.
- considers issues that affect learning (e.g. abuse, health, housing, disabilities).
- uses strategies which foster understanding among diverse learner groups.
- makes adaptations which respond to individual learning styles, goals, and behaviours
- establishes and promotes an atmosphere of mutual trust and partnership in the classroom.
That helps a little, but we are still left wondering, “What specific things would you have to know, and what specific things would you do in order to put these skills into practice on a daily basis?”
Answering that question is the goal of this training.