[AAACE-NLA] FCE, spirituality, and political literacy
andreawilder at comcast.net
Tue Nov 7 08:14:54 EST 2006
Thanks for your post--both well-reasoned and informative
With FCE there is a didactic component to the literacy lessons, what
the linguistics call "pragmatics," how literacy interacts with
There is also a "should" component--you "should" do this or that. I
would be interested in knowing your opinion of this aspect of adult
On Nov 6, 2006, at 9:57 PM, tsticht at znet.com wrote:
> Aaace-nla Colleagues: With the discussion of spirituality and comments
> Art Ellison when he said that in New Hampshire they are building the
> concept of political literacy into their local programs, just as they
> on health literacy, economic literacy, math literacy, and English
> I couldn't help but think about Cora Wilson Stewart and what she
> taught in
> her Country Life Readers First Book of 1915. She taught reading and
> in the functional contexts of health:
> "How fresh and sweet you look.
> I have just had my bath.
> I take a bath every day.
> Why do you do that?" etc.
> She taught reading and writing in the context of economics:
> "This is a bank.
> It is a place to keep money." Etc
> She taught reading and writing in the contexts of cooking and
> "How good that bread looks! How often do you make it?
> I make it every week; don't you?
> No, I never make light bread. I have no yeast.
> You cannot make light bread without yeast." Etc.
> She taught reading and writing in the context of politics:
> "The polls are open.
> I must go in and vote.
> I will tell you how I vote.
> First I get a ballot." Etc.
> Stewart went on to teach reading and writing in the functional contexts
> of spirituality:
> "A Thanksgiving
> For flowers that bloom about our feet,
> For tender grass so fresh, so sweet; For song of bird and hum of bee,
> For all thins fair we hear or see;
> Father in heaven, we than Thee." Etc.
> I couldn't help thinking that often we forget that when we teach
> with adults we forget that while the skills of reading are the same as
> the K-12 system, the knowledge contexts in which these skills are
> are quite different, or should be. Over a hundred years of teaching
> with adults has produced the professional wisdom which I call
> Context Education (FCE): teaching adults the basic skills embedded in
> adult-oriented knowledge content. And often, in assessing basic skill
> growth, we fail to separately assess the growth in skills from the
> in the functional knowledge. This is too bad, because knowledge grows
> faster than skill, and when we fail to assess these two aspects of
> cognition separately, we fail to accurately inform students and others
> about how well they are learning.
> Professional wisdom has been reinforced with scientific evidence that
> supports Functional Context Education. And the discussions on this list
> indicate that there is professional wisdom still at work out there in
> classrooms and tutoring sessions of the Adult Education and Literacy
> System. But there is also a tendency in actions like trying to align
> content standards with K-12 standards or helping students gain the
> to pass the GED or transition into postsecondary education that proven
> Functional Context Education approaches may be dropped or given short
> shrift and that teaching will fall back into a weakened replication of
> K-12 content.
> We have to be careful about this.
> Tom Sticht
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