Dr. Meredith Larson, an NCER Program Officer at IES, addresses how many adults with low literacy and numeracy skills have family or work responsibilities that may complicate their participation in education. Read her blog here, which is based on nationally representative data.
The blog ends with a few interesting questions facing policymakers, practitioners, and researchers:
"How do current education and training programs benefit working adults or parents?
Are work or family obligations barriers, motivational factors, or both?
Are multi-generational approaches (e.g., those that combine postsecondary or adult education services with Head Start or early childhood education) able to improve the academic outcomes of adults and the children they care for?"
CSAL is committed to understanding reading-related characteristics that are critical to helping adult learners reach their reading goals and to developing instructional approaches that are tailored to adult learners’ needs and interests.
CSAL General Overview
Each year, nearly 3 million Americans enroll in adult literacy programs to improve their basic skills, and some estimates suggest the need is even greater. Adults in these programs want to increase their literacy skills to improve aspects of their work, family, social, and civic lives. However, we do not completely understand their underlying reading-related strengths and weaknesses, nor do we know the best curricula and teaching approaches to help them reach their reading goals. The focus of our center is to address these areas by conducting research that will (1) explore individual differences in reading-related abilities and motivations for learning so that we can better tailor instruction to adult learners, (2) design a reading program and an interactive online reading tutor that, can more effectively meet adult learners’ needs, and (3) conduct pilot studies to assess the potential of our instructional programs in helping adults improve their literacy skills. More information is available on our project overview page.
Funding for this Center comes from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education and we are funded through Grant R305C120001 at Georgia State University. Our project officer is Meredith Larson.
Our researchers come from Georgia State University, University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children, The University of Memphis and the Institute for Intelligent Systems, and Brock University.
Our collaborators include the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES) at the University of Houston (for assistance with tests and basic data management) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) (for assistance with national leadership activities).
The website of the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy strives to provide you with an online platform for gathering information and communicating with the CSAL organization. Our web design follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines for Section 508 compliance because we want to make sure all of the information on our site is accessible to all members of our audience. If you are having trouble accessing any content on the site, then you may find a solution on our accessibility assistance and policy page.