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Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Publication
    Reading Acquisition in Morocco
    (1986) Wagner, Daniel A; Spratt, Jennifer E
    While interest in reading and writing has always been important to researchers and educational policy-makers, multidisciplinary investigations of the acquisition of literacy are a relatively new enterprise. In the Arabic-speaking wrold, in particular, there have been relatively few efforts to discover what kinds of literacy abilities the child brings to the classroom, and what kinds of home, preschool, and language environments lead to various levels of literacy both in and out of school. The research described here presents data collected during the first three years of the Morocco Literacy Project, whose general aim has been to investigate the process of literacy acquisition and retention in Morocco. The present paper will consider the effects of preschool experience and language background on a sample of primary school children living in contrastin rural and urban environments in Morocco.
  • Publication
    New Technologies for Adult Literacy and International Development
    (2009-01-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    Few areas of social and economic development have received as much attention and as few proportionate resources as adult literacy. Across the world – in both industrialized and developing countries alike – it is widely acknowledged that at most, 5 percent of national education budgets is spent on the roughly 50 percent of the adult population in need of increased literacy skills. For several centuries, it has been variously claimed that literacy – a key (if not the key) product of schooling – would lead to economic growth, social stability, a democratic way of life, and other social 'good things.' Detailed historical reviews have not been so kind to such generalizations (see several chapters in Wagner, Venezky & Street, 1999; also UNESCO, 2005), in that literacy 'campaigns,' in particular, were often more politically inspired than practically implemented (Wagner, 1986). General notions of national economic growth have been said to have a similar set of positive consequences for the poor. However, both universal literacy and universal economic growth have suffered from what has been called at times 'development fatigue' – namely, that governments and international agencies have come to feel that significant toil and funding have led to only limited return on investment.
  • Publication
    Introduction: School-to-Work Policies in Industrialized Countries as Responses to Push and Pull
    (1999) Stern, David; Wagner, Daniel A
    Two main forces propel policies that aim to improve the transition from school to stable employment. First is a high level of joblessness, which pushes policy makers to find solutions as quickly as possible. Because unemployment rates in most countries stay persistently higher for young people than for adults, youth unemployment in particular remains a chronic concern for public policy. This concern intensifies when demographic waves or economic recessions drive unemployment upward.
  • Publication
    Adult Literacy Assessment in Comparative Contexts
    (1997) Wagner, Daniel A
    In an ever-shrinking world, there are increasing efforts among many countries to understand their economic, social, and educational policies in the relative light of other nations' successes and failures. Largely begun by anthropologiests in the colonial era, cross-cultural studies examined and compared human behavior ranging from childrearing practices and initiation rites to the training of craftsmen and sedentary agriculturists. Cross-cultural and cross-national comparisons of literacy ability are of rather more recent vintage; for example, studies of the cultural specificities of reading in different languages and scripts, the cognitive consequences of literacy in cultural groups, and skill performance across industrialized countries. This chapter considers the policy implications of these different approaches on such issues as the classification of literacy levels, use of mother-tongue and second languages in assessment, comparability of assessment across time and cultures, and the measurement of the social consequences of literacy attainment. Several important limitations and opportunities in the comparative use of literacy assessments are described, particularly with respect to the distinction between emic and etic perspectives on assessment.
  • Publication
    Improving Policies and Programs for Educational Quality: An Example from the Use of Learning Assessments
    (2013-01-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    It is early morning in Kahalé village, about 45 kilometers from the capital city. It has been raining again, and the water has been flowing off the tin corrugated roof of the one-room schoolhouse at the center of the village. The rain makes it difficult for Monsieur Mamadou, a teacher, to get to his school on this Monday morning, as the rural taxi keeps getting stuck in the mud, forcing the six other passengers to help the driver get back on the road to the village. Once at school, Monsieur Mamadou waits for his school children to arrive. At 9 a.m., the room is only half-full, probably not a bad thing, as a full classroom would mean 65 children, and there are only benches enough to seat 50.
  • Publication
    Life-Span and Life-Space Literacy: National and International Perspectives
    (1994) Wagner, Daniel A
    Swain: We're constantly struck with the paradox that children are born with a tremendous capacity to learn, and yet many children have great difficulty in school, and grow up to lack the facility with reading, writing and oral language that is so needed in a complex society. Families across cultures and languages are successful in supporting their children's learning and achievement, and we have much to learn from these successful families and their children. And yet other families have great difficulties. . . . Yet, within families with great difficulties, we have children who are resilient to these forces, and others who suffer great harm.
  • Publication
    Pro-Poor Approaches to Using Technology for Human Development: Monitoring and Evaluation Perspectives
    (2009-01-01) Wagner, Daniel A
    I am pleased to be able to contribute a chapter to this volume that honors the work of Çiğdem Kağitçibaşi. In my view, Dr. Kağitçibaşi's work is unique in that it approaches, in significant and creative ways, the intersection of the science of human development with the potential of practical benefits for children and families. This may sound easy, and even obvious – but it is not. The field of child and human development has often evidenced a high though largely impreceptible wall between science and practice. That wall is even higher when cultural and international perspectives are taken into account. That is, when cross-cultural and cross-national dimensions of any phenomenon are taken into consideration, it is most often to confirm (or deny) the validity of some "universal" theory. Kağitçibaşi is one of the few scholars who has not only drawn our attention to the ethnocentric nature of simplistic theory-testing, but has tried, in her seminal work, to promote bridges that will translate theory into the practice (and vice versa) of improving children's lives. She has charted new ground consistently on a professional voyage that has allowed her to become one of the most recognized of development psychologists worldwide – which she richly deserves. The present chapter picks up on one of Kağitçibaşi's continuing themes, namely, that of how to meet the needs of poor children and youth, and understand impacts derived from interventions.
  • Publication
    Langues et lettrismes au Maroc
    (1992) Wagner, Daniel A
    Ces dernières décennies, plusieurs chercheurs et responsables se sont demoandés si seul l'apprentissage de la lecture dans la langue maternelle était favorable à la réussite scolaire. Il y a trente ans déjà, dans un rapport désormais classique présenté à l'une des conférences de l'Unesco, des spécialistes avaient affirmé leur adhésion totale à l-usage de la langue maternelle ou à des programmes d'éducation en langues vernaculaires...
  • Publication
    Social Factors in Literacy Acquisition
    (1993) Wagner, Daniel A
    The acquisition of any human skill, physical or mental, depends on the interplay among a wide variety of factors. Earlier research and our own observations in Moroccan society suggested the possibility that certain social features of children's lives would be related to literacy acquisition in school. Therefore, our research was designed so that these factors might be directly and empirically studied. It was assumed that some of the factors found to affect reading achievement in the West might be related similarly to literacy in Morocco, but we also wanted to study facors specific to Morocco, such as Quranic preschooling. In this chapter, then, we present findings concerning the impact of family socioeconomic status, level of parental education, urban or rural context, gender, and preschooling on 5 years of literacy development in the primary school sample.
  • Publication
    Basic Skills in Adult Education and the Digital Divide
    (2000-01-01) Ginsburg, Lynda; Sabatini, John; Wagner, Daniel A
    Traditionally, basic adult education has had a particular concern with the skills of literacy and numeracy, seeing these as essential for entry to the world of work. Adult education teachers may therefore be reluctant to adopt ICT, unsure of the part it should play, and worried about the time it takes away from the development of these basic skills. As we enter the 21st century, however, ICT has already become a necessary and important component of adult education. Formal and non-formal education are being delivered at a distance via technology — particularly the Internet — with the promise that learning can take place at any time and in any place.