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MERN Abstract id=47
Source : MERN Forum #13, Session 1A
Date: 3/6/2008
Author: Dr. Karen Magro
Title : Working toward transformative learning in adult literacy education
Text : As we enter the 21st century, more than ever, our adult learners need opportunities to think critically and creatively in a world that is witnessing shifts in immigration, an increase in urban poverty, family fragmentation, environmental deterioration, advances in technology, and escalating global conflicts. Gee ( 2000) emphasized that literacy educators stand at “the very heart of the most crucial educational, cultural, and political issues of our time” and that they have the potential to assist learners in understanding their world and shaping it in positive ways. Part of this involves expanding our conceptions of literacy to reflect a more inclusive and holistic view. For Askov (2000) literacy includes “those skills, knowledge, and practices that are needed to function successfully in the society or culture in which the individual is situated or desires ( and has the potential) to be situated. Literacy, from this viewpoint, is dynamic, lifelong, and varies with individual needs and interests. Numeracy, problem solving, and the ability to read, write, and speak are critical dimensions. No less important, however, are emotional, moral, and social literacies: motivation, resilience, interpersonal effectiveness, cultural awareness, and critical thinking. The focus of this workshop will be to explore the creative ways that adult educators can teach literacy from a holistic and multi-dimensional framework. Using specific texts in content areas like English, EAL and Psychology, practical strategies that promote transformative learning will be presented. Transformative learning is a “deeper level” learning that involves critical reflection, dialogue, the ability to understand divergent perspectives, and a signficant shift in thinking. Life history writing, literature circles, differentiated instruction to maximize motivation, the integration of art and poetry, creative ways to teach culturally diverse texts, and interdisplinary approaches to teaching adult literacy will be highlighted. Each participant will receive a copy of the power point presentation, lesson and unit plans, an annotated bibliography, and an article focusing on transformative approaches to teaching and learning in adult literacy education. Adult educators will also have the opportunity to reflect on their role and responsibilities in today’s adult education classroom.
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