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Now showing 1 - 10 of 77
  • Publication
    Literacy and Adult Education: Thematic Studies
    (2000-04-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    The 1990 World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA) in Jomtien, Thailand, included adult literacy as one of its six major worldwide goals. Although the complete elimination of illiteracy by the year 2000 was adopted as a goal of UNESCO and a significant number of its Member States in the Udaipur Declaration of two decades ago, the Jomtien Conference scaled back such promises, and chose a more modest, and theoretically achievable, goal of cutting illiteracy rates in half by the year 2000. The reasons for this reduction in targeted goal were numerous. As this report describes, important gains have been made in literacy and adult education over the decade since Jomtien – in various places and using various methods – but the overall literacy situation remains one of the major concerns of the twenty-first century.
  • Publication
    Learning First: A Research Agenda for Improving Learning in Low-Income Countries
    (2012-12-01) Wagner, Daniel A; Murphy, Katie M; De Korne, Haley
    In 2011, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution spearheaded the development of a common policy agenda on global education entitled A Global Compact on Learning: Taking Action on Education in Developing Countries. The report recommended a call to action for a diverse group of international stakeholders to come together to work toward achieving quality education for all. As a part of this larger policy agenda, CUE works with various scholars and organizations to address the many issues within the scope of the Global Compact on Learning.
  • Publication
    Measuring Literacy through Household Surveys: A Technical Study on Literacy Assessment and Related Education Topics through Household Surveys
    (1989) Wagner, Daniel A; Srivastava, A.B.L.
    This study on Measuring Literacy through Household Surveys is one of a series of technical studies undertaken by the Statistical Office of the United Nations in Pursuance of the National Household Survey Capability Programme, to assist developing countries in the organization of household surveys.
  • Publication
    Standards for Adult Literacy: Focal Points for Debate
    (1995) Stites, Regie; Foley, Ellen Lillian; Wagner, Daniel A
    The prospect of developing content, performance, and opportunity-to-learn standards for adult literacy has generated much discussion. However, the lack of a common vocabulary and the relatively narrow range of interests represented in these discussions have been major impediments to progress in developing standards for adult literacy. This paper reviews literature on the theory and practice of education standards and summarizes the progress toward designing content, performance, and opportunity-to-learn standards for adult literacy. This review helps to highlight the technical issues and challenges to standards-based reform of the field. The development of efficient and equitable accountability systems for adult literacy programs will require ongoing efforts to define desirable knowledge and skills and to develop more authentic measures of learning outcomes. The particular challenges posed by issues of equity, diversity, and coordination of service provision call for a broadly based participatory process in developing and implementing adult literacy standards.
  • Publication
    Use It or Lose It? The Problem of Adult Literacy Skills Retention
    (1994-07-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    In the fields of adult literacy and adult learning, most researchers have focused on the acquisition of various skills and abilities. Very little attention has been devoted to skill retention. Without more research information, however, it is difficult to know whether the literacy skills learned in America's adult education programs are likely to be retained for very long. This report is a literature review that covers what is known about (a) cognitive skill retention across the life span, (b) studies of literacy and basic skills retention, and (c) policy implications of skill retention work. The main conclusion of the report is that while much is known about fields related to that of literacy retention, very little research has been done directly on the topic and serious work needs to be undertakne soon. A set of questions to guide future work in this area is provided in the final section of the report.
  • Publication
    Literacy Assessment Practices (LAP) in Selected Developing Countries: Analytic Review of Four LAP Country Case Studies
    (2002-04-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    The present paper provides an analytic review of four country case studies that were prepared for the Literacy Assessment Practices (LAP) project, undertaken jointly by the International Literacy Institute (ILI) and UNESCO, in collaboration with UIS and UIE. This report attempts to provide a summary of key issues, as well as to identify lessons learned and areas that are in need of further investigation. Examples are drawn from the four cases in the light of the present context of the field of adult literacy, and various conclusions and new directions are drawn from this material. Overall, in the context for both the 1990 Jomtien World Conference on Education for All and the 2000 Dakar World Education Forum, it is concluded that substantial new work will need to be done not only to meet the target goals of the EFA initiative, but even to know with credibility how far along the path to these goals nations have traveled. Thus, the LAP studY, and work that may follow from it, may well serve as stepping stones toward promoting systematic assessment of progress towards achieving the universal goal of a more literate and equitable world.
  • Publication
    Supply and Demand for Literacy Instruction in the United States
    (1994-09-01) Venezky, Richard L; Wagner, Daniel A
    The supply-demand equations for adult literacy instruction in the United States are complicated by (a) changing demands for basic skils in the workplace, (b) an increased in immigrants who have limited command of English, (c) changing federal welfare policies, and (d) limited awareness on the part of those with low reading and writing ability that their skills are not sufficient for everyday literacy needs. This paper reviews critical features of the supply of literacy instruction, drawing on recent state and national surveys of service providers and of technology; data on the demand for literacy instruction; the recent National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS); and studies of adult literacy participation. Attention is given especially to the types of data that are required for modeling of supply and demand. The paper concludes that the supply-demand characteristics in U.S. literacy policy have not been well understood, that supply and demand are often poorly equlibriated, and that recent national studies can provide useful guidance toward providing a better balance between supply and demand.
  • Publication
    Quality, Learning, and Cultural Comparisons: Trade-Offs in Educational Policy Development
    (2014-01-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    With the advent of the United Nations Education First initiative, and considering the continued efforts to focus on the quality of education in low-income countries, there has been a renewed interest in the improvement of learning (as distinct from school attendance) in poor and marginalized populations (Wagner, Murphy, and de Korne, 2012).1 There is a large and diverse empirical research base in the area of human learning. Yet much of the available research is substantially limited by boundary constraints of various kinds. Most prominent among them is the limited ability to generalize from findings in one population context to other distinct population contexts. Similarly, research methods may vary greatly between one set of studies and another, making it difficult to discern whether the findings vary due to the methods or to other factors. These are classic problems in the social sciences, and inevitably lead to substantive trade-offs in how policy development takes place in education.
  • Publication
    Mobiles for Reading: A Landscape Research Review
    (2014-06-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    This landscape review takes the broad domain of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) for education, and focuses on the fast-evolving sub-domain of mobiles for reading, or M4R. The 'mobiles' in this review primarily refer to mobile technologies— ICTs that are portable, typically battery powered, and may be connected to cellular networks and/or the Internet. The term 'reading' refers to the joint abilities of understanding and producing written language, for children, youth and adults. This review of M4R focuses primarily on the use of mobile ICTs designed to help children learn to read, practice reading (reading to learn), and acquire a broader range of learning skills that support a literate society.
  • Publication
    Literacy and Development: Rationales, Assessments, and Innovation
    (1993-06-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    Literacy and economic development have existed as terms that are inextricably linked in the literature, often with little examination. As one looks more closely at the rationales for this relationship, it becomes clear that much more needs to be known about the functions and uses of literacy in everyday life, how literacy is linked to productive activity, and how literacy is learned (and taught) across the life-span. In order to achieve both understanding and improved literacy programming, it is crucial that better methods of assessment and program evaluation be put into place. This paper reviews prior experience in assessment, with special attention to the use of literacy surveys, as well as some of the problems with international literacy statistics. The paper concludes with a discussion of innovations in literacy and policy alternatives in the year 2000 and beyond.