Women and literacy
Adult Education Teacher Inquiry Projects,
Related research and resources
This page provides information about and reports of locally undertaken practitioner-based inquiry and research work, as well as links to information developed around the world related to research addressing language and literacy development.
New resources are added, and inserted into the alphabetical list below, so please check back from time to time to see what's new.
2004 - 2005 projects departed from the inquiry model, in order to include both inquiry and other forms of learning. Read the call for participation here
(scroll down to " a group of adult educators met to discuss allocating professional development funding").
Final reports; projects completed in 2004, here. To learn about these research project grants, click here .
Research share - July 31, 2003: read more about it ; this link leads to a write up of the work begun so far in thinking about new approaches to practitioner-based research in Rhode Island and also includes links to a range of research reports being considered by the group.
Inquiry projects were again supported during the 2002 - 2003 academic year. [ Applcations here, (fyi) ]
2001-2002 completed projects: initial proposals and final reports
Projects completed: 2000 - 2001 Final sharing session was held on June 28, 2001. Read reflections on that year's process.
Projects completed - January - June, 2000
Practitioners throughout the state are invited to submit questions they wish to explore during each round of the inquiry process; and at the end of each cycle come together to share their findings. They participate in an orientation session at the beginning of each round of inquiry, during which information about practitioner-based inquiry is shared, suggestions made and guidance given towards the development of their projects. Reports of many of the projects undertaken in 1996 and 1997 are online.
Dr. James Barton, Assistant Professor, Education Department, University of RI, assisted the project as advisor and provided technical assistance in 1996 and 97. Howard Dooley of the former Rhode Island Literacy Resource Center participated in disseminating information about the 1996 projects. Bob Mason of the RI Department of Education facilitates the funding process, and since 1997, Literacy Resources/RI has worksed with RIDE to assist inquiry work.
winter/spring/98 Reports on project processes and findings from a third round of inquiry projects (January 1 to June 25th, 1998) were shared at a final large group meeting on June 25th, and are online at inquiry.98.html.
fall/spring 98/99 Seven projects developed during the 1998-99 academic year are also online. Inquiry participants met monthly; their meetings were announced in the bulletin, in order to bring others into the work, share early findings and perspectives. A final sharing session was held on June 25th.
In addition to local inquiry work, Rhode Island was represented in the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy's Practitioner Research Dissemination Network (PDRN). RI's PDRN leader, David Hayes disseminated this newsletter devoted to the early work of the PDRN, including links to NCSALL's ongoing research projects. More information about the now-defunct PDRN may be available at http://www.ncsall.net/
Inquiry and literacy research resources online
(* indicates site/description disseminated through The Institute on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Problem Solving Through Action Research, sponsored by the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University, November, 1997).
Research - Center for Applied Linguistics Digest by Richard
Action Research - at
ICT Test Bed Evaluation
Action Research Collaborative of Greater St. Louis - A collaboartive of teachers, administrators and teacher educators and other educational stakeholders. ARC is developing a database of juried action research project descriptions from kindergarten to post secondary. Contains a number of links to other action-research sites as well. *
ActionResearch.net - huge compendium of resources, papers, dissertations, articles from the University of Bath; this is the same resource as Jack White's homepage, listed below -- but might be known by this name.
Action Research Resources - vast range of resources, including papers, conference proceedings and online coursework.
Action Researchers’ Educational Theories and their Politics of Educational Knowledge: Reconstructing Educational Theory and Constructing Educational Knowledge. [ full text] Jack Whitehead; Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference (September 11-14 1997: University of York) [abstract
Action Research on Web - AROW - courses, resources, reports maintained by Ian Hughes at the University of Syndey.
Learning and the Generation of New Knowledge and Meaning: Creating
Liberating Spaces for Fostering Adult Learning Through
Practitioner-Based Collaborative Action Inquiry by Lyle Yorks
— 2005 Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 6, 2005, p. 1217-1244
Adult Literacy Reserach-in-Practice Pre-conference summary -
7, 2002 University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC
Adult Education Research Conference - proceedings from the 2000 conference, held in Vancouver, BC; full text papers available online.
The Adult Educator's Guide to Practitioner Research - by Suzanne Cockley ; "handbook for the novice practitioner researcher provides an overview of the practitioner research process, and discusses the strategies and methods used to conduct a qualitative inquiry...includes case studies, a sample outline for writing a research report, a list of recommended reading, and information about using the ERIC system."
[also available through the Virginia Adult Education Research Network
An overview of practitioner based inquiry can be found in
1994 NCLE Digest, Adult
Literacy Practitoners as Researchers
Adult Literacy and Numeracy Australiain Research
- ALNARC represents a national collaboration between university-based
in each state for research into adult literacy and numeracy. This
gives ALNARC a unique profile internationally. ALNARC builds on the
of the former Adult
Research Network (Language Australia) which had research nodes in
states and territories.
Extending our practice and building networks - Memorial
of Newfoundland, June 17 - 21, 2003. This four day
will bring together up to 60 people who are involved in adult literacy
research in practice. The event builds on previous Canadian
about literacy research and will draw from current endeavors to
research in practice in Canada and elsewhere. The gathering will be of
interest to new and experienced researchers in the adult literacy
field, including literacy teachers, facilitators or program
an university-based and independent researchers.
Literacy Staff Development, a 1995 ERIC Trends and Issues Alert
by Susan Imel, also provides a list of resources pertinent to inquiry
well as to other forms of staff development processes.
Areol, action research and evaluation on line, as a web-based program - a 14-week public course offered each semester as a public service by Southern Cross University and the Southern Cross Institute of Action Research.
Action Research with Students who have disabilities - ERIC
July, 2003: Participatory action research, an approach in which
and stakeholders (those individuals who might benefit from the research
findings) collaboratively engage in the various stages of the research
process, provides for greater influence of stakeholders in the research
process and a higher level of support for the implementation of
findings in practice. This digest offers several examples of how
and practitioners are using participatory action research data to
effective practices and support change and innovation.
Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE)/L'Association Canadienne pour l'Etude de l'Education des Adultes (ACÉÉA) : English (language) resources to research in adult education
The Changes Project- full research report From 1997 - 1999, adult learners from five Adult Basic Education programs in western Massachusetts conducted a participatory action research project focused on the impact of welfare reform, immigration reform and the changing nature of work on 620 of their fellow adult learners. The work of the project paints a picture of the impact of these three issues on the lives of adult learners at these five programs. Researchers make recommendations for ABE programs, fellow learners, legislators and policy makers. The Changes Project was a project of the Western Regional Resource Center of the Massachusetts SABES System at Holyoke Community College and was funded by the Field Initiated Grant Studies Program of the Office for Educational Research and Improvement at US DOE. (The URL for this project has changed several times.
The Changes Project - Research and Learning in Western Massachusetts, an article by Alex Risley Schroeder giving an account of students participating in action research into issues affecting their own lives, appearning in Field Notes, (summer 2000)
In addition to the report, the project developed two
Making Change (1997) based on early data gathered, and Out on a Limb
Classroom Action Research, from the Madison, (Wisconsin) Metropolitan School District's staff and organizational development site: "The mission of the Staff & Organization Development Team is to ensure student and staff success through the application of continuous improvement standards and practices to the work of MMSD employees and to the systems and processes within which they do their work by providing on-going training/development, facilitation, and consultation which enable MMSD employees to achieve increasingly better results in terms of the mission and objectives of the district and its schools, support systems, programs and services."
(May 15/02 - the links off the mail page seem to be down; a search of the site, however, yields these resources for Classroom Action Research.
Contextualizing Research in Manitoba: Where are we going? What are we doing? - overview of community-based literacy programs work with researchers into identification of research needs, development of obkective, outcomes and frameworks for considering research in Manitoba. Also includes useful background information about qualitative literacy research methodologies.
Curriculum Inquiry - An Education Journal from The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
in the Dark - report on practitioner research in
British Columbia, Canada.
Developing adult teaching and learning: Practitioner guides - Responding to people's lives (Barton and Appleby)
Adult Literacy Research in English - comprehensive database
Canadian research in adult literacy from 1994, as well as research in
Developed by the Foundation for Educational Renewal
Directory of UK ELT (English Language
Teaching) Research 2005-08 - research-active institutions in
the UK to contributed to this Directory, which is available as a
searchable database, and a bibliography in printable pdf format. Around
850 research outputs from 52 institutions are listed. These outputs
include journal articles, chapters in edited books, papers in
conference proceedings, authored books, unpublished but
electronically accessible documents and doctoral theses. Additionally,
there are details of 55 research projects.
Education-line - freely accessible database of the full text of conference papers, working papers and electronic literature which supports educational research, policy and practice.
scholarship/action research - The Swearer Center for Public
(at Brown University) believes that Action Research is an effective and
innovative way to connect academic study with the vital concerns
our nation and the world. This page provides a practical history of
research and some resources for developing action research programs.
ESOL research at the University of Leeds
including information about the ESOL Research Group at Leeds,
instructions for joining the ESOL-Research email list and links to
other organisations with an ESOL connection.
Ethnography for classrooms: constructing a reflective curriculum for literacy, Mary Hamilton, Curriculum Stuides, Volume 7, Number 3, 1999.
FieldWorking, Second Edition, by Bonnie Stone Sunstein and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater.- site includes an overview of features of this textbook and addresses research skills and strategies essential to successful fieldworking.
A Framework to Encourage and Support Practitioner Involvement in Adult Literacy Research in Practice in Canada - Jenny Horsman and Mary Norton
on Basics - Volume 1, Issue A, February, 1997 - What is
Articles and reflections about research, inquiry and teacher and
Focused on Practice
- A Framework for Adult Literacy Research in Canada, 2007
A Gathering about literacy research in practice - Bearing blossons...Sowing seeds, a gathering about literacy research in practice. July 24-27, 2001, University of Alberta, Edmonton. This three day gathering brought together people involved in adult literacy research in practice; it built on previous Canadian consultations about literacy research and drew from current endeavours to support research in practice in Canada and elsewhere.
Harvard Education Letter Research Online - bimonthly newsletter, covers timely topics in dept and explores issues from the perspectives of both research and practice.
Harvard Graduate School of Education News and Views - including research news updates
Imprints - the Newsletter of Literacy, BC - special issue on research in practice (Volume 9, Number 2, November, 2003)
Inquiry and Action: A PLAN FOR ADULT EDUCATION STAFF AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN VIRGINIA - (from the introduction) "This report lays forth a conceptual and structural framework for adult education staff development in Virginia. It recommends to Virginia adult educators and policymakers a set of structures to support staff development activities and then offers a philosophy to consistently guide activities within those structures. An Implementation Guide accompanies this report to assist administrators and staff development facilitators in carrying out the proposed plan for staff development. More than establishing policy, the report offers a vision for adult educators which, if brought to fruition, may enormously enhance Virginia's effectiveness in serving adult learners."
Inquiry tools for teachers - from the Coalition for Essential Schools' IITIC (Improving Instruction Through Inquiry and Collaboration) Project through which the Southern Maine Partnership and the CES Northwest Center each work with three local schools to assess and improve classroom instruction. The site required registration; includes numerous inquiry related resources.
Jean McNiff - a place for learning, sharing and creating new knowledge, developed by an earll practitioner of and advocate for action research.
Poster Projects - wonderful graduate student projects
literacy practices in England; part of Lancaster University's larger
research site, The
Literacy and Research Group home page; see also The
Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University.
Learning about participatory practices in adult literacy education - reports no teacher-driven research projects conducted in Alberta, Canada, including reference to approaches practitioners used, the processes in which they engaged and the learning they derved from completing their inquiries.
- Pennsylvania-based initative, "a systematic inquiry conducted by
researchers (or program directors, counselors,
Learning to Learn: Impacts of the Adult Basic Education Experience on the Lives of the Participants by Patty Bossort, Bruce Cottingham, and Leslie Garner - extended research into participants' views of the strengths and failures of adult education on their lives in Western Canada.
A Life of Teaching: Reflections from Teachers in an Inquiry Group - Sonia Nieto, Sonie Felix, and Karen Gelzinis, Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, Volume 1, Issue 2, (Fall 2002)
Life Long Learning - a global colloquium - researchers' papers responding to the notion of life long learning; excellent compendium of research into literacies and their uses.
Inquiry Network - "The goal of the Literacy Inquiry
or LINK is to promote literacy learning through dialogue and
research among school and university teacher researchers." with thanks
to Cassie Drennon for bringing it to light. [7 July/03 - this first
is currently off-line] but do see - action
research spiral; part of the LINK work
LIVES OF CHANGE: An Ethnographic
Evaluation of Two Learner Centred Literacy Programs
Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning - "Lifelong learning is
critical for adults to be engaged citizens, active members of the labor
force, healthy, and informed consumers. Adults with limited
formal education, who left high school for what ever reason, are most
in need of opportunity and encouragement for continued learning.
However, the field of adult education has been limited by a lack of
research about literacy development during adulthood that would serve
to facilitate lifelong learning for this population. The Longitudinal
Study of Adult Learning project is breaking new ground by addressing
key questions about the literacy development, learning and life
experiences of low-education adults over time."
Connections: a learners' action research project - In
research you investigate a question. The question we investigated was:
How do we build and maintain connections among learners? [From
Middleton, Information and Communications Coordinator
the impact of practitioner research: A handbook of practical advice
(Hamilton, Davies and James) [developed from the NRDC's Practitioner-led
Research-To-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing and Community
Education - Two day meeting held each fall at a major university in
the Midwest United States; archives of the conference from 2002 - 2006
Mini-Survey of Research in Adult Education & Literacy - posting to the National Literacy Advocacy List about responses to the question: What 5-10 research studies ever produced on any aspect of adult literacy do you find most useful for purposes of guiding policy, management and/or practice? Direct link to the survey responses in PDF here.
National Labsite for Adult ESOL - a project of NCSALL and Portland State University; teachers teach, learners learn, this activity is videotaped, coded, reflected upon and in time, made available to others for their input and response.
National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy - UK's national centre dedicated to research and development on adult literacy, language and numeracy, was established as part of Skills for Life, the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills. The Centre aims to improve practice and inform policy through the generation of knowledge, by creating a strong research culture and by developing professional practice. check the publications page for information about Strategy 2003-2007, a process that resembles work that RI practitioners are attempting to do in our own contexts. The work also bears a resemblance to that of NCSALL's five year plans.
Networks - An On-Line Journal for Teacher Research Journal offering teachers working in classrooms from pre-school to university a place to share their findings and learn from each other, and includes 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. Articles will cover a wide range of issues related to classroom teaching and learning, such as curriculum, research methodology, ethics and collaboration. Classroom teachers at all levels will be involved in reviewing the manuscripts. The emphasis will be on a reader-friendly writing style that gives a clear account of issues, questions and classroom inquiry.
An Overview of Action Research - from the Development and Dissemination School Initiative, an online resource for Educators of ELL Students. The project is part of a partnership between New York City Board of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and the Education Alliance at Brown University. Its goal is to help New York's English-language learners (ELLs) acquire both English-language and other skills and knowledge they will need to meet the New Standards that the Chancellor has established for all students in New York City.
[symposium ] Participatory Action Research (PAR): Collaborating to produce worthwhile knowledge - paper focussing on how teachers, researchers and educational advisors balance their different roles in participatory action research teams. (One of many papers archived on the Australian Association for Research in Education site).
PARnet - "Based at Cornell University in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of central New York State, PARnet serves an international group of students, faculty, and other practitioners who share a commitment to promoting high standards of intellectual and social integrity in doing social research for social change."
Portraits of literacy: Critical Issues in Family, Community and School Literacies - July 7 - 10, 2002, University of British Columbia. Strong research and practice components; many papers online and many due to be posted in proceedings, as well.
‘Possible Selves’: Girls and Their Mothers Research Own Lives - intergenerational research project; part of What Kids Can Do.
and Research Network of the National Center for the Study of
Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL): PDF document, evaluation of the
now defunct PDRN.
Practitioner-Led Research Initiative (PLRI)
projects - publication from the NRDC summarizing
practitioner-led research implemented from 2004-6.
Primer on Social Science Inquiry, part of WNET's Learning Adventures inCitizenship ADVENTURES IN CITIZENSHIP, a site containing Web-based learning activities designed to allows teachers, parents, and kids to learn more about and participate in their own communities. The site also includes links to resources found at the Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry, "which provides workshops, programs, on-line support, and an intellectual community of practice affording science reform educators a deep and rich experience of how inquiry learning looks and feels."
Teaching Practice in Adult ESL Settings - Digest by
Research agendas from the National Institute for Literacy, including the most recent National Plan for Research and Development in Adult Education and Literacy (2001) .
Research and Practice in Adult Literacy - (RaPAL), a site that has come and gone online, but an entity which has consistently provided information, publications and hands on experience to learners and practitioners in the UK: "RaPAL campaigns for the rights of all adults to have access to the full range of literacies in their lives...RaPAL encourages a broad range of collaborative and reflective research involving all participants in literacy work as partners. We support democratic practices in adult literacy work and believe that a learning democracy can only be achieved if teaching, learning and research are kept together. A dynamic relationship between research and practice keeps the meaning of literacy open and responsive to the variety of changing social contexts and practices that exist in our society. We recognise the role of professional development in this process and of activities which enable learners to make their views known, in all media. As we see it, students are central to a learning democracy and their participation in the decision-making processes of practice and research is essential."
Research, researchers and teachers - a series of three
Matters, by Simon Borg:
Teachers' Involvement in TESOL Research Vol. 13 No. 2 (March/April/May 2003)
Researchers, and Research in TESOL: Seeking Productive Relationships
Vol. 13 No. 3 (June/July/August 2003)
as Staff Development: A Facilitator's Guide - a new component
the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center's website is for adult
programs and organizations interested in using inquiry groups and
methods in their program improvement efforts. The guide provides all
basic materials and information to implement practitioner research as
development. The process is organized into four meetings: Coming Up
A Research Question, Collecting Research Data, Analyzing Research Data,
and Making Our Research Knowledge Public. It includes the steps
facilitate each meeting, handouts for all the activities, and links to
teachers' research projects and other resources.
RESEARCH / Centre for Language and Literacy - University of Technology, Syndney/ a research centre that focuses on the areas of language, literacy and numeracy education and research. Centre members are also involved in policy advice, consultancies and training for different educational and professional bodies, workplaces and State and National agencies and institutions.
Needs Voices of Classroom Teachers - Dr. Arif Altun Touts Potential
Role of Action Research; somewhat problematic in its implication/tone,
but also linked to a paper by David Nunan. Another doctor in the
academy considers practice in research.
in Action: Teachers, Projects, and Technology by Heide Wrigley,
Literacy Links Volume 8, No. 3, June 2004. What counts as
research, why does it matter and what does it mean?
Research in Practice in Adult Literacy - Canadian-based site, designed to provide resources and access to communication with other researchers in practice; the site is in development - give your input through the site's online survey.
Reports for the Research-in-Practice Project are
posted on the RiPAL-BC website and
can be downloaded free of charge (http://ripal.literacy.bc.ca/completed.html).
Research in Practice Seminar Edmonton, October 24th
Research to Practice: Guidelines for Planning Action Research Projects by Nancy Padak and Gary Padak
Research - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
TAMING THE RESEARCH BEAST - Research Methods in TESL and Language Acquisition
Teacher as Researcher Special Interest Group (SIG) - Sponsored by the American Education Research Association, the SIG is dedicated to showcasing research on practice by teachers K-12 and the work of teachers involved in adult literacy settings, community colleges, or colleges and universities. A full list of interest sections of the AERA is also available online.
Teacher Knowledge Project at the School for International Training - The Teacher Knowledge Project (TKP) trains co-facilitators for reflective inquiry groups, offering teachers: time, a community of colleaguesand a structure for examining their teaching in relation to their students' learning, and for making thoughtful changes in their teaching
Teacher Research Resources - from the College of Education, University of Arizona
Teacher research reports from the British Columbia Teachers Federation.
Triangle Journal: Educational Action Research - Index to on-line journal reporting a range of action research projects; downloadable as PDF texts. (Ordering information for hard copy format also available).
from the field - Third Quarter, 1999. Julia Nora, a former
educator, currently teaching middle school ESOL, reports on her own
research. Her goals were "to assess the current level of performance in
my classroom, experiment with new ways of doing things, measure the
and begin again as necessary."
What is action research? -
Connecting the Dots: five action research projects across Canada
utilized action research methodology to plan, implement, adjust, and
evaluate a new accountability approach, or document an existing
innovative approach betweeun 2008-2009.
What do literacy students think being
literate is? Andrea Pheasey 2002
What goes on here?
Practitioners Study the Practitioner-Student Relationship, Sandy
Find these three papers - and others - on the publications page of the National Center on Adult Literacy website, or print copies can be ordered from the NATIONAL CENTER ON ADULT LITERACY, University of Pennsylvania, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 USA; Telephone 215-898-2100; Fax 215-898-9804; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Invitations to Inquiry: Rethinking Staff Development in Adult Literacy Education, Susan L. Lytle, Alisa Belzer, & Rebecca Reumann (October 1992) introduces a model for inquiry-centered staff development in which participants work collaboratively to conduct systematic inquiries at their program settings, critically analyze current theory and research from field-based perspectives, and make problematic the social, political, and cultural arrangements that structure literacy learning and teaching in particular contexts. (TR92-02, 40 pages) $8.00 text, WORD, PDF
Developing the Professional Workforce for Adult Literacy Education, Susan L. Lytle, Alisa Belzer, & Rebecca Reumann (December 1993) identifies policy issues in adult education staff development and introduces inquiry-based staff development as a promising approach for enriching the professional workforce and rethinking both practice and research on practice in adult literacy. (PB92-02, 11 pages) $4.00 text, WORD, PDF
Initiating Practitioner Inquiry: Adult Literacy Teachers, Tutors, and Administrators Research Their Practice, Susan L. Lytle, Alisa Belzer, & Rebecca Reumann (November 1993) focuses on the systematic inquiry into daily practice by adult literacy workers whose questions and methods emerge from quite particularized, workplace contexts even while addressing the wider concerns in the field such as staff development. (TR93-11, 53 pages) $9.00 text, WORD, PDF
For more information concerning Rhode Island Inquiry Projects please contact LR/RI
updated August 23, 2010