[AAACE-NLA] 2007:What Was Hot, What Was Not
DJRosen at theworld.com
Fri Dec 28 18:38:06 EST 2007
There may be other variables that affect discussion list postings,
1. The number of teachers in the field who are potential participants
for a particular list. English Language has always been a busy list
in part because of the large number of teacher subscribers and the
frequency of postings about practical teaching and learning issues.
2. Poverty, Race, Women and Literacy may have experienced hybrid
vigor this year as it was a combination of two previous discussion
3. Discussion list activity is sometimes a function of how active the
moderator is in engaging the field. Some moderators' priorities are
focused on making good resources available to the field; some want to
engage their lists in discussion; and at least one uses the list for
projects (development and vetting of policy and standards) which
advance the field.
Here are some other observations:
• The NAAL report on Health Literacy, the interest by the medical
field in health literacy AND the growth in discussion on the Health
Literacy discussion list indicate to me that Health Literacy is hot.
• New Orleans, as you have suggested, is a hot issue -- and the
discussion has engaged several people from our field in trying to
help New Orleans rebuild adult literacy education, post-Katrina. I
hope others will join in helping.
• Just as professional development policies were hot last year, this
year professional development standards are hot. AALPD has provided
some great leadership to advance these important areas.
• On the Special Topics discussion list -- which you have not
included I think because it does not have a single topic area --
there were at least three hot topics this year: community literacy,
GED earnings outcomes, and numeracy.
• A number of Special Topics subscribers said that they wanted
another discussion on corrections education, particularly on inmate
transition to community education. So that might be hot.
• Assessment is still a hot issue but practitioners may feel drained
by the overwhelming emphasis on standardized testing. I sense that
they are ready to see some more balance, possibly through a new
interest in formative assessment.
• There are many indications that technology is a hot issue. There
are considerably more technology sessions at state and national
conferences than there were ten years ago, and now the sessions are
usually packed. Teachers are hungry for help in integrating
technology in their classrooms and using distance learning options.
• Although there is no National Institute for Literacy discussion
list specifically devoted to it, transition to higher education is
hot. The national conference held in Providence, R.I. this year, for
example, was full way before the registration deadline. People were
I am curious. What do others on this list see as hot issues in adult
David J. Rosen
Adult Literacy Advocate
DJRosen at theworld.com
On Dec 27, 2007, at 5:44 PM, tsticht at znet.com wrote:
> December 27, 2007
> Adult Literacy: What Was Hot and What Was Not in 2007?
> Tom Sticht
> As we approach the end of 2007 I took a tally of the number of
> messages to
> the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) discussion lists to find
> what topics in adult literacy education seemed to be in and which ones
> seemed to be out, I considered each list to represent a special
> interest in
> the topic indicated by the list name. I tallied the number of messages
> posted to the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) lists as of noon
> December 27, 2007.
> The following 4 lists posted over 3 messages per day.
> Poverty, Race, Women, & Literacy 1336 posted messages
> English Language 1146
> Health Literacy 1119
> Professional Development 1108
> The following list posted over 2 but fewer than 3 messages per day.
> Learning Disabilities 784
> The following 5 lists posted fewer than 2 messages per day.
> Technology 665
> Workplace 586
> Assessment 532
> Focus on Basics 475
> Family Literacy 419
> The relatively low number of postings, 586, less than 2 a day, on the
> Workplace literacy list seems out of place given the federal
> interest in the use of the federal adult basic education and literacy
> program for workforce development. Does this indicate a low level of
> interest in workplace literacy education?
> The Family Literacy list is at the bottom of the ranking with just
> a little
> over 1 message per day. Again, given that the Adult Education and
> Literacy Act is the federal law that funds the Adult Education and
> System (AELS), and includes Family Literacy as an explicit
> component of the
> law, it seems a bit strange that the list engendered such a
> relatively low
> amount of discussion. Does this signal a drop of interest in family
> literacy programs?
> One of the perennial issues that is thought to be of interest to
> the adult
> literacy field is assessment, but if postings to the NIFL lists is any
> indicator of interest in assessment, it ranks 8th out of 10, hardly
> indicative of major interest in assessment.
> Coming out top in 2007 is the povertyracewomen & literacy list,
> with 1336
> messages, or 3.7 per day. A major topic on the povracewomen &
> literacy list
> was what was going on in New Orleans adult literacy following the
> disaster. This stimulated over 70 messages alone, and perhaps more
> different subject labels not including New Orleans or Katrina as
> part of
> the name.
> English language, health literacy, and professional development all
> more than 3 messages a day, suggesting that these are topics that
> were of
> particular interest to adult literacy educators in 2007.
> Another discussion list, the American Association for Adult &
> Education (AAACE) National Literacy Advocates (NLA) (aaace-nla)
> list is not
> one of the NIFL lists but is widely used to discuss politics,
> policies, and
> advocacy that cannot be discussed on the federally funded NIFL
> lists. In
> 2005, the aaace-nla list posted 1544 messages. This fell to 1074 in
> and to 657 in 2007. This is a more than 60 percent drop since 2005 in
> postings to the list that promotes advocacy for adult literacy
> This may indicate less interest in policy and advocacy in the adult
> literacy education field, or a greater focus on fewer but more
> action-oriented messages rather than debatable issues messages, or
> it suggests something else not readily understood by me.
> Of course, all this raises the question of just what do the NIFL or
> aaace-nla lists indicate about what the adult literacy field thinks
> is hot
> and what it thinks is not. Any ideas about what were the hot topics of
> 2007, what were not, and what the hot topics/issues will be in 2008?
> Tsticht at aznet.net
> AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
> LiteracyTent: web hosting, news, community and goodies for literacy
DJRosen at theworld.com
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