[AAACE-NLA] FW: "Over What Period of Time..."
david at collings.com
Mon Oct 23 13:05:48 EDT 2006
The following message is from Debbie Yoho (dwyoho at earthlink.net).
From: Debbie Yoho [dwyoho at earthlink.net]
Subject: "Over What Period of Time..."
"Regarding your grant to increase hours of instruction from 3 to 6: do
you suspect that your adult students simply cannot spend this extra time
away from their busy lives going to the program?>>>"
We think this is basically the problem.
">>> Does the grant stipulate that the extra hours must be spent "inside
the classroom"? Or
could you find ways to increase the hours using the students' own
schedule outside of class? For example, could the extra hours be used
for some type of outside homework, project, etc. that enhances their
learning in the classroom? I'm thinking of: "keep a log for when and
for how long you read to your children during the week" or "collect all
the materials that you have read this week and bring them to class
prepared to talk about them" - these types of activities..."
The grant does not stipulate. But the problem with your suggestions is so
many of our learners are not yet capable of such independent work. They
don't read well enough to read to their children, and/or have difficulty
prioritizing or organizing their time and materials, and/or want to keep
their need a secret, even at home, and/or believe they must have the teacher
side-by-side because of a drastic lack of confidence, etc. etc. These are
the learners that the accountability pressures are "winnowing out". In
terms of funding issues, our state will not allow independent work, even in
a computer lab, (except for bona fide interactive distance learning) to
"count" towards accumulated hours.
But I won't be a nay-sayer. We are currently trying to figure out how to
identify learners during intake who CAN and WILL do independent work . A
test score alone is helpful, but not consistently reliable. Factors of
self-esteem, home environment, work schedule etc. are all just as important
to predicting independent capability. The best we have done so far is to
invite them to work in the computer lab, with human assistance, at times of
their choosing. We get to know them better there and can eventually judge
when independent assignments are feasible. John Coming's work on
persistence has many ideas about intensifying instruction given the
parameters of adult living, but it all boils down to the fact that most of
our learners need a great deal of eyeball to eyeball direct instruction, and
we cannot find the funds to support that need partly because verifiable
results are so slowly manifested on available assessment instruments.
Deborah W. Yoho
Director, TURNING PAGES
a community service of Volunteers of America Carolina and
a ProLiteracy affiliate
(formerly the Greater Columbia Literacy Council)
dwyoho at earthlink.net
2728 Devine Street Columbia, SC 29205
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