Adult literacies from the perspective of practitioners and their learners: a case study from the north of England
Keywords:Adult literacy, literacies, policy, practice
AbstractThis article is based on qualitative research with adult literacy practitioners and learners in the north of England. I draw on interview and focus group data to identify their perspectives on adult literacies and compare these with the understandings of literacy on which current policy-making for adult literacy in England is based. The research revealed a wide range of ways in which literacy is understood in practice, compared with a much narrower conceptualisation in current policy. The article concludes that teachers’ and learners’ perspectives on adult literacies reinforce the notion that literacy is not a fixed concept, but that its meanings and uses vary according to time and context. It argues, however, that a policy environment based on an understanding of literacy which emphasizes employability and economic outcomes creates challenges for teachers and_x000D_
learners to maintain their own perspectives in relation to what literacy constitutes and what is important in adult literacy education.
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