LR/RI produces a bulletin roughly every two weeks in order to inform area practitioners of news, events, and calls for participation and also as a forum for posing questions, issues and discussion topics. The current bulletin is posted below. To read previous bulletins, go to Bulletin Archives.
November 13, 1997
Activity around discussion groups continues, as does planning for advocacy around adult education across the state. As we consider strengthening our voices, I hope that learners can increasingly be included in the conversations, too. Please share any of the information in this (and any) bulletin that could be of interest to participants in your program. If any of your learners would like to be added to the mailing list, and/or contribute information to the bulletin themselves, please let me know. Additionally, if you would like to add your own name to the mailing list, or to the substitute teacher list (which is used by agencies looking for teachers, often at short notice), please call. Thanks.
WRITING GROUP: New York's Literacy Assistance Center holds monthly practitioners writing groups, described as an "opportunity for teachers, program managers, counselors and others to focus on their own writing, professional or personal." Practitioners are invited to meet monthly to "write, share, and give feedback in a supportive environment." A first meeting for practitioners in Rhode Island will be held on November 18 at 3:00 PM at the Swearer Center for Public Service. We can decide how to use this session - as a forum for sharing journals, generating writing ideas for ourselves and our learners, setting up email or other exchanges. If this s a bad time/place for you, please call to suggest alternatives that would be more useful.
HEALTH FAIR: The Daniel Hale Williams Medical Society, Community Health Advocacy Program, InTown Providence YMCA and Black and Latino Premedical Society are sponsoring a free health fair on Saturday, November 22, from 1 to 5 PM. Information about STDs, HIV testing, family planning, nutrition and food vouchers, mental health care and substance abuse programs will be available, as will check ups for blood pressure, sight, lead, blood sugar and cholesterol. Door prizes include car seats, gift certificates for turkeys and smoke detectors. Please let program participants know about this important free event, held at the InTown YMCA, 160 Broad Street, Providence.
Adult Literacy Council meeting - December 9 at 2PM, Genesis Center 620 Potters Avenue, Providence. Please join us to continue the conversation about advocacy and adult education. Members of the Literacy Council and others in the adult education community participated in a meeting with David Rosen on November 5, as part of the process of beginning to identify those issues we need to focus upon, and strategies for finding a unified voice for taking our message to legislators and others invested in adult learning in the state. Among many other suggestions, Dr. Rosen encouraged us to consider two or three concrete projects (a post card campaign, adult education day activities, for example) to take on during this program year. Please join us to make your voice heard and/or contact Louise Moulton or LR/RI for more information.
Arrangements have been completed to carry out another series of mini-projects for personal professional development. This approach uses action research and reflection in order to carry out systematic intentional, field-based inquiry into daily practices. The inquiry approach can be used by teachers or administrators. Funds are available to support up to 20 separate inquiry projects to be carried out between January 1 and June 20, 1998, at an average cost of $500 each. A competitive process will be followed, and applications will be available after November 20th, to be completed by December 11. A meeting to describe inquiry and explain this process more completely will be held on November 20 at the RI Department of Education (255 Westminster Street, Providence), Room 501, from 4 to 6 PM. Application forms will be available at this meeting. For more information please contact Bob Mason (277-4600, ext 2180) or LR/RI.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Networks: An On-line Journal of Teacher Research at http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/~ctd/networks. This journal offers teachers working in classrooms from pre-school to university a place to share their findings and learn from each other and will include: feature length articles, short reports of work in progress, book reviews, discussions on current issues in teacher research, responses to published articles and upcoming events in teacher research. Work done by teachers individually or in collaboration with other teachers and researchers is welcome. Articles will cover a wide range of issues related to classroom teaching and learning, such as: curriculum, research methodology, ethics and collaboration. Find out how you can become involved. Click on Notes to Contributors page, http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/~ctd/networks
Sharing/discussion group for educators with an interest in learning disabilities Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 21st at 3 PM, at the International Institute of Rhode Island, 645 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. Many of us who don't work specifically with LD learners can benefit greatly by learning more about the strategies, methods and approaches developed for LD students, particularly multisensory structured phonic reading instruction. Learning how such instruction can be applied to our teaching/tutoring contexts can only strengthen our abilities overall to meet the needs of the state's adult learners. At this meeting, Lisa Roseman Beade will facilitate a discussion of the Orton Gillingham method; next month we'll learn about the Wilson method.
Orton-Gillingham is "a multisensory technique, requiring the simultaneous use of the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities. .. Further information about using the technique ... in reading, writing, and spelling is available from the International Dyslexia Society" Chester Building, Suite 382, 8600 LaSalle Rd, Baltimore, MD 21204-0232 (http://www.interdys.org/) Messages (800) ABCD123, Voice (410) 296-0232, Fax (410) 321-5069). (from an ERIC Digest by Vicki Barr, http://ericae2.educ.cua.edu/db/edo/ED355834.HTM).
An LD list serv is archived at http://novel.nifl.gov/nifl-ld/
Additional LD information is available at the NIFL site;also check LR/RI's links to LD resources.
Voter Education, Registration and Action (VERA) Institute: COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION: From literacy to action.
December 6, Northern Essex Community College, 9:30 to 4:30. Free of charge; registration is limited to 60 on a first come - first-served basis. This is the first of three institutes dedicated to promoting and exploring community awareness and participation by ABE, GED, and ESOL programs and learners. This first institute on community participation will be followed by institutes on the themes of democracy and justice. Please register by November 21st; LR/RI has registration forms.
Expressions, a monthly journal of adult student writings based at the Swearer Center for Public Service, seeks poetry, short stories, essays, recipes and other written submissions from students at literacy agencies in Rhode Island. For more information, or to be placed on the Expressions mailing list, please contact Coordinator Diane_Genereux@brown.edu, (401) 863-2338. Expressions is on-line, too, at http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Swearer_Center/Expressions.
PROJECT BASED LEARNING AND ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
How is the internet being used in adult education? What are some helpful uses, and how do we sort through the huge amount of material available on line? Susan Gaer is interested in helping programs link to one another, and has been doing so through an email project homepage on-line, at http://www.otan.dni.us/webfarm/emailproject/email.htm. If you have or know of similar learner work on line, please contact Susan at SusanG2@aol.com. As well, David Rosen (who in addition to advocacy work, has done a great deal of work on and research into using the internet) has asked that we have a look at the inquiry maps on the Adult Literacy Resource Institute1s home page. As he explains, "[a]n Inquiry Map is a group participatory research process on a topic of high interest to the group. Participants (in this case, adult learners) make their own questions, and then set about finding answers to them. The Inquiry map is a process which is never finished. Many of the questions go unanswered, are only partially answered, or have only one answer given where other points of view are possible. So, there is room for other participants to join in the process at any time, to add their answers, their comments on the answers already given, and questions which they might also choose to research." Questions, answers and comments can be posted to David Rosen <DJRosen@world.std.com>, and he'll add them to the inquiry map. So, it keeps on being an inquiry process with each new person who reads and adds to it. He welcomes additions of questions and answers; as you may know, many internet sites run threaded conversations on a variety of topics. The ALRI sites are: http://www2.wgbh.org/MBCWEIS/LTC/ALRI/I.M.html and http://www2.wgbh.org/MBCWEIS/LTC/ALRI/IM3.html (How to make inquiry maps). The LR/RI website has added a page about technology and learning as well. The page consists of the beginning of a discussion about the ways in which technology can be used interactively -- is the screen just a big flashy workbook, or is there more to it? Your comments can be sent by email, fax or regular mail, and will be added to the page to continue the conversation.
NCSALL Practitioner Dissemination and Research Network Now Scheduling On -Site Introductions
The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy's Practitioner Dissemination and Research Network / Rhode Island is now scheduling on-site introductory meetings with practitioners and administrators as part of its ongoing effort to facilitate the development and strengthening of ties between researchers and practitioners.
The sessions will highlight current NCSALL research and its connection to Rhode Island adult ed practice, introduce Focus On Basics - an adult ed pulication aimed at addressing practitioners' needs - and encourage discussion on practitioners' roles in research, ways in which research results can be applied to practice, and the utility of the PDRN to the Rhode Island adult ed community. Meetings will be tailored to suit a group or program's time restrictions and can be made to run anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes.
Adminstrators and practitioners interested in learning more about or scheduling an on -site meeting should contact David Hayes, PDRN / RI Practitioner Leader, at (401) 331 - 9261 or by email to PDRNRI@aol.com.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Literacy Volunteers of Washington County has received a $10,000 grant from the Strategic Planning Unit of the RI Department of Human Services to institute free classes in citizenship preparation. LV has hired Ebba Spector, former director of the Washington County Adult Learning Center and long time ESOL teacher, to teach the classes, which will be held in the Literacy Volunteers center in the lower level of the Westerly Public Library on Tuesdays, from 6 to 8 PM and on Saturday mornings, from 9 to 11:00. Classes begin on Saturday, November 8, and are free and open to the public. Call 401-596-9411 to register, or come to a class.
From Paul Jurmo, on the NLA listserv:<email@example.com> "Subscribers to the NLA list have seen the valuable leadership potential which adult learners can bring to our field. Learners are forming adult learner organizations, organizing state conferences, participating on decision-making bodies, and serving as advocates for adult learning. As Archie Willard explained in a recent posting, a small group of learners is now working with a handful of adult education professionals to explore the feasibility of creating a national adult learner organization. If funding can be secured, this planning group (joined by a few more learners and professionals) will convene at the Highlander Center early next year to take this idea of a national learner organization a few steps further.
Before we go much further down that road, we want to be clearer about the level of interest in this idea. We ... ask that others who use this list share these questions with the adult learners you work with and convey their responses back to us. Please convey your responses to Patsy Medina.We will share our findings with you soon." Please respond by November 21st; please email responses directly (firstname.lastname@example.org)), or mail them to Patsy at Rutgers University, GSE ETPA Dept., 10 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 phone (908) 932-2638 FAX (908) 932-6803.
Your telephone number: Are you: (Check all that apply.)
A current student in an adult basic education program?
A former student in an adult basic education program?
An adult education provider? (Please explain.) (Note that, because this survey is aimed at adult learners, anyone else should only be serving as a messenger conveying feedback from adult learners with whom she/he works.) (survey, continued)
1. Do you think it would be useful to create a national organization of adult learners (i.e., current and former participants in adult basic skills programs in the U.S.)? (Check one.)
2. If yes, what might such an organization try to accomplish? (That is, what should be its goals and purposes?)
3. Are you currently (or have you previously been) involved in any similar adult learner organization in your community or state? (Check one.)
4. If yes, what is/was that organization's name and what does/did it do?
5. Would you like to be added to a mailing list in case a national organization is formed? (Check one.)
6. Would you be willing to help such a national organization?
If _yes_ or _maybe_, what might you do to help?
6. Feel free to add any other comments, ideas, or questions here (or on an additional sheet of paper):
from previous issues:
Workshops available - During the past few years I've worked with a team of women from around Canada, through the Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women, on Making Connections: Literacy and EAL Curriculum from a Feminist Perspective. The curriculum was developed for learners in basic education and English language programs. A series of workshops have been developed and are available to anyone in the area with an interest in learning more about incorporating the curriculum and its approaches into their own work. Please contact me (Janet) at LR/RI for more information and/or to schedule a workshop. Information about the curriculum is also available online at http://www.nald.ca/canorg/cclow/EAL.HTM. While the cost of the curriculum document itself is $20, there is no charge for the workshops.
For the teacher sharing session on Thursday, July 10, these brief articles were reviewed:
Cross-Cultural Issues in Adult ESL Literacy Classrooms,
Race and Gender in Adult Education,
Adult Eduction: Social Change or Status Quo?
You can link to the articles at the URLs above, or contact LR/RI for hardcopies.
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