[AAACE-NLA] Meeting of the Minds Symposium II
andreawilder at comcast.net
Sun Dec 24 07:38:03 EST 2006
Thanks for your posting,
In research, we might start with a controlled experiment re teaching
methods. Actually a randomized triaI, with one group getting the
treatment, and the other not. Have we done this? Is it ethical?
There may be other ideas for comparison groups. I know there are
hazards--how would you, for example, set this up? Does the large
sample Purcell-Gates study satisfy research criteria? If so, are there
other studies which do, also?
This seems such a morass, research-wise.
All the best for the holiday season,
On Dec 23, 2006, at 7:34 PM, tsticht at znet.com wrote:
> Aaace-nla Colleagues: Several of you have commented on my message
> about how
> I am having difficulty finding any research indicating that a decade
> and a
> half of research by national centers and half a decade of increased
> accountability by the National Reporting System has in fact brought
> improvements in learner persistence, learner gains, or any other
> I went on to ask, "Does anyone know of any such research?" So far, no
> has offered any references to such research.
> A number of actions have underscored the need for research that can
> demonstrate that it has brought about the improvements in practice
> that it
> has stated is its purpose and for which funds have been allocated:
> (1) Attempts to drop funding for Even Start because some in the
> claimed that existing research said Even Start did not work. Indeed, I
> wrote and posted on the aaace-nla list a research note critical of the
> research on Even Start. I do not recall any other such postings on this
> list with similar critiques of the Even Start research methodology and
> unsound conclusions.
> (2) Dropping the search for What Works in adult literacy education
> from the
> projected projects of the What Works Clearinghouse, presumably because
> could not find any research that met its criteria for demonstrating
> Works in a scientifically satisfying manner.
> (3) The decision to not fund another national research center in adult
> literacy education on the part of the Institute for Educational
> Perhaps the failure to find past research in this field sufficiently
> satisfactory may have entered into this decision. I don't know.
> (4) The decision by the federal adult education office to implement the
> National Reporting System which resulted in the loss of some 1 million
> more enrollments per year and the mandatory use of standardized tests
> the NRS itself admitted were not comparable, but are nonetheless
> for measuring progress through the same levels of learning.
> (5) The decision by the Bush administration to ask for a 63 percent
> cut in
> funding for the Adult Education and Literacy System (AELS) because it
> thought it was not working well. Though this was fought by those in the
> leadership of the adult education and literacy field, and overturned on
> both methodological and political grounds, it underscores the need for
> convincing research providing support for the AELS.
> (6) Statements in magazines and newspapers by prominent columnists
> repeatedly state that adults with low literacy are of low intelligence
> low aptitude or have bad genes and nothing much can be done about it;
> 2000 a major philanthropist decided to give $100 million to children's
> literacy education because, according to the news article, both the
> philanthropist and "experts" say nothing much can be done about adult
> literacy problems.
> I have repeatedly called for greater support for research in adult
> education. I have noted that the Department of Defense annually spends
> $100 million dollars in adult education, training, and related
> activities and that is way beyond what has been provided for adult
> education and literacy development research for the entire nation.
> So having advocated for over 30 years for research for adult literacy
> education, it is disappointing to me when I am unable to find that 15
> of such research has seemingly not resulted in research demonstrating
> it has improved adult literacy education in some way(s). I guess
> of this list also do not know about research that has resulted in
> demonstrable improvements in adult education and literacy practice, or
> they do perhaps they just do not want to reference it here on the list
> because I have not seen any such postings in response to my repeated
> requests for such information.
> All this leaves me deeply disappointed (but not cynical as George
> stated). I
> still have a lot of faith in well trained and talented research
> I hope that the federal government, or perhaps some private foundation
> provide the funding for such researchers to demonstrate the great
> value of
> the Adult Education and Literacy System (AELS) in bringing about
> improvements in adult's learning, improvements in multiple outcomes
> such as
> health, community participation, and the intergenerational transfer of
> literacy from parents to their children. I still believe that one of
> best investments we can make for the education of children is an
> in the education of adults. We need a Multiple Life Cycles education
> I will argue for this at greater length at the National Family Literacy
> Conference March 4th in Orlando. Perhaps I'll see you there!
> Tom Sticht
> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
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