Women and literacy
New practitioner orientation
Orientation sessions are being scheduled for the fall of 2009. To learn more, please contact Janet Isserlis by email or at 401.863.2839.
a working outline for adult educators : Rhode Island new practitioner orientation
Since June of 2007, the RI Adult Education Professional Development Center has offered an orientation process for practitioners who are new to adult education (either just beginning, or within the early years of their work as educators) and/or are new to Rhode Island.
The New Practitioner Orientation is designed to provide an overview of the adult education system in Rhode Island, of adult learning generally, and a focus on particular elements of adult education practice, as determined by participants at each session. This page is intended to provide information about the process and matierals utilized during the orientation, but is not designed to supplant the face-to-face interaction that is integral to the orientation process.
Prior to the session, participants are asked to prepare a written observation of an adult education
class; and/or a written reflection of a recently-taught class, and to consider these questions:
What do you believe an orientation should include?
What are you hoping to learn from your participation?
Participants are asked to write a response to the article and to bring questions it raises to the session.
Agenda, New Practitioner Orientation
goals :To learn with and about one another
To learn about the system of adult education in Rhode Island
To understand systems of accountability and reporting
To further our understanding of adult learning and learners
To explore persistence and goal setting and their implications for classroom practice and program design
To learn about workforce development and its connection to adult education
To further understandings of adult learning, practitioners and learners, and to increase critical thinking about our roles and repsonsibilities
To learn about and increase awareness of learning disabilities and available resources
To explore online and other resources
To learn more about one another's work and programs
To explore classroom approaches for multilevel learners, including planning processes and connections to goal setting
To consider the integration of numeracy into ongoing practice, and
To pull together our learning and explore next steps to support ongoing professional learning.
Introductions : (borrowed from the Literacy Assistance Center, NYC): Participants are asked to tell who they are, where they work, their position, length of time in that position, what drew them to adult literacy education, what they most look forward to in their work and what they feel will be the greatest challenge.
overview of the orientation
Debriefing observation [making distinctions between observation and judgment]
Practitioners describe classes they've observed. The initial observation is designed as a way to ensure that all participants have had an opportunity to spend time in a classroom classroom before the orientation process. The observation and subsequent debriefing processes provide a way for us to learn what people are thinking about, and to get a baseline sense of people's views, understandings and knowledge of adult education.
We also ask that participants write a second observation after the orientation in order to push us all to think about how it is we observe, translate and articulate what teaching practice looks like. We believe that it is not only important that practitioners be able to work well with adult learners, but also that we're able to speak to why we do what we do as we work towards strengthening professional development for ourselves, and for our colleagues.
During the initial debriefing, participants are asked to address these elements of the classes they observed, initially in small groups, and then with the entire group:
- context (ESOL ABE, ASE, Transition to College, time of day, program)
Overview: the adult education system - federal and in Rhode Island
adult education facts by World Education (word document)
Commonly used acronyms (word document)
(yet more acronyms, from Texas)
strands - integrating technology, numeracy
accountability (briefly): to students, to funders to ourselves/programs
National Reporting System: movement from one level to another, as measured by a standardized instrument
Why do we care?
How does data inform program design, classroom practice?
Improvements seen in state's adult education programs - Johan Uvin, the director of adult education for the state Department of Education said that changes in the state's adult education policies made since 2006 are beginning to show positive results on standardized test scores. (Providence Journal, November 2, 2008).
What are the differences between educating, advocating and sharing information?
What do we know about adult learning and adult learners?
The Adult Learner - revisted; incorporating in previous sessions plus participants' observations (if they've observed programs) and/or reflections on readings, previous sessions
learning styles (to consider, briefly):
use a computer?
drive a car?
try a new recipe?
(distinction between learning styles and multiple intelligences)
What have we seen? What does this mean?
principles of adult learning
The cyberstep project linking adult learning principles to specific examples of web sites/activities/practice.
Adult Learning Principles from the Study Place (PDF files)
Using Adult Learning Principles in Adult Basic and Literacy Education ED425336 Susan Imel 1998
TESOL standards for Instruction(pdf file).
goal setting - what could it look like?
wrapping up and evaluation:something I learned
something I want to know
changes I'd suggest
read/review RIDE policy statements
Please complete three NRS online (overview) courses. Between sessions one and two, participants are asked to complete these three courses: What is the NRS?, NRS Data Flow and Using NRS data. You will need to sign up online; registration is free and very quick.
To learn more about the NRS, additional courses are also available; This page (self evaluation questions) can help you decide which courses to take over time
Take a quiz on the NRS (word doc)
progress/lack of progress
Needs Assessment for Adult ESL Learners (1997, ERIC Digest)
Techniques for Authentic Assessment Practice Application Brief ED381688 Sandra Kerka 1995
in the computer lab - resources - sharing what works/doesn't and why
pulling it together, next steps
incorporating needs of learners at multiple levels
determining purposes (goal setting, lesson planning)
What more do we need to know?
What has this orientation focused on? missed?
Re-connecting, checking inquestions? suggestions? feedback?
resources - a list compiled for and with participants
planning: and planning backwardsprogram design lessons
intake and goal setting processes - who does what?
RI Office of Adult and Career and Technical Education policies and procedures: http://www.ridoe.net/adulteducation/policies.aspx(for an example of an intake process assessing one learner's speaking and reading abilities, see the video at http://www.literacywork.com/readingdemonstration)
revisiting goal setting - what could it look like?for administrators?
Ongoing assessment - how do we know what someone knows ?
In the classroom - teaching demonstrations - accommodating multilevel learners
Resources for adult basic education/English language and literacy
The Change Agent, September, 1999, Looking In, Looking Out: Reflections on Adult Basic Education
Adult Education: Social Change or Status Quo? ERIC Digest No. 176.
Popular Education: Adult Education for Social Change ERIC Digest No. 185, Sandra Kerka, 1997
Adult Education for Social Change: From Center Stage to the Wings and Back Again An ERIC Monograph by Tom Heaney
Education: a powerful tool article providing an overview of the impact of the Highlander Center and of popular education in adult learning.
Literacy in the community learning context by Craig McNaughton. While considering Canadian adult literacy programs, many of the reflections on community and literacy are applicable to US and other contexts.
Documents for Directors, from SABES, documents providing information about a range of structural and programmatic issues.
Beginning ESOL Learners' Advice to Their Teachers by MaryAnn Cunningham Florez
The ERIC Clearinghouse provides a number of brief reports (digests, practice application briefs) related to basic adult education. The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition provides similar documents, focussing on adult English language learners.
from The Krasnow Institute at George Mason University, Adolescent and Adult Learning Research Center, Adult Case Studies - "for teachers, tutors and practitioners who work with adults struggling to improve their literacy skills. It is especially appropriate for those involved in ABE (Adult Basic Education), ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and GED (General Educational Development). Visitors to the site may explore the individual case stories to find useful insights into how to work with adult learners. There are a number of practical strategies on addressing the needs of the learners as identified by their learning systems; Emotional, Social, Cognitive, Physical and Reflective."
from Situated Literacies: Reading and Writing in Context edited by David Barton, Mary Hamilton and Roz Ivanic. London: Routledge (2000).
from the first chapter, Literacy Practices, by Barton and Hamilton, page 8.
Literacy is best understood as a set of social practices; these can be inferred from events which ar mediated by written texts.
There are different literacies associated with different domains of .
Literacy practices are patterned by social institutions and power relationships, and some literacies are more dominant, visible and influential than others.
Literacy practices are purposeful and embedded in broader social goals and cultural practices.
Literacy is historically situated.
Literacy practices change and new ones are frequently acquired through processes of informal learning and sense making.
What is a facilitator? from Zhaba facilitators collective
Together We Can Do It!: The Role of Volunteers in the Assessment Process, Vicki Trottier, Community Literacy of Ontario, December 2001
Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, 3rd edition H. Douglas Brown (1994); additionally, a search at Google.com ["Douglas Brown+grammar"] yields a number of online grammar activities culled from Brown's texts
Classroom resources/lesson plans
Frontier College: A Toolbox for ESL Tutors - an instructional guide for teaching ESL to newcomers. Provides interesting assessment questions to help tutors determine what learners know about a particular theme before launching into the topic. Although some of the themes are Canadian-based, the questions and processes are easily adaptable to other contexts.
Using Inexpensive Technologies to Promote Engaged Learning in the Adult Education Classroom - links to various resources desribing approaches to integrated high and low end technologies (videos, computer, photos, etc.) into classroom work. (scroll down)
trauma and learning
Trauma and Adult Learning (2002 ERIC Digest)
Trauma and the Adult English Language Learner (2000, ERIC Digest)
Mental Health and the Adult Refugee: The Role of the ESL Teacher (1999, ERIC Digest)
Adult Education: National issues
LINCS - Literacy Information and Communications System
Unpacking white privilege
Peggy McIntosh, an Anglo American sociologist, says that white
people carry around an "invisible knapsack" of privileges. She is
referring to the way that society is organized so that white people
receive privileges of which they are usually unaware. For example,
white students usually do not have to be concerned that they will be
the only one from their racial background in the classroom. Whites
seeking rental property do not have to fear that they will be turned
away because of their race. Generate a list of invisible privileges
that whites have in U.S. society.
health and literacy
Health and Literacy - enter "health and literacy" in the search box.
Health and Literacy Special Collection; compilation of resources related to teaching and learning about health.
technology resourcesExploring the Potential for Online Professional Development Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD), Preconference Institute, COABE 2007 online ESOL resources from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York.
Captured Wisdom on Adult Literacy video footage of 6 adult education contexts in which use of technology is incorporated into ongoing learning
Media Library of Teaching Skills Edited, annotated adult ed video clips
Teacher Tube - unmediated video of classroom practice, submitted by teachers/practiitioners
supplemental resources for supporting practitioners
May 10, 2013
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