Crowther, Jim, Maclachlan, Kathy and Tett, Lyn (2010) Adult literacy, learning identities and pedagogic practice. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 29 (6). pp. 651-664. ISSN 0260-1370

This article discusses the relationship between persistence in adult literacy and numeracy
programs, changes in the participants’ attitudes to engaging in learning and pedagogic practices
using data from eight Scottish literacy education organizations. It argues that literacy learning can act as a resource that enables vulnerable adults to change their dispositions to learning, achieve their goals and make a transition towards their imagined futures. Pedagogic practices that operate from an approach that emphasized learners’ strengths, rather than their deficits, and critically interrogated learners’ experiences used as a resource for learning were the most successful in enabling this transition. Holistic provision that creates a supportive community of practice was found to be the most effective in bringing about the positive changes that learners identified they wished to make in their lives.
This article draws on data from a research project that focused on participation in adult literacy and numeracy (ALN) education courses by those who were at risk of not completing their programs (Maclachlan et al. 2008). It explores the relationship between persistence in the program, changes in the participants’ attitudes to engaging in learning and the pedagogic practice of the organizations in which they participated. Since persistence in learning is a contested concept we begin with a brief review of the literature.

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