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Research: Overview, Data, and Analysis

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Adult Basic Education: Strategies for Supporting Learning
J. Alamprese, Abt Associates, Inc., 1999
Paper describes the ABE system, including its structure and service delivery components. Discusses some of the latest organizational and instructional practices in ABE programs, including program management and leadership development, staff development, instructional strategies, and learner assessment. Identifies key areas for further research.
Download/view: PDF (47KB) | MS Word(510KB)

Adult Education Participation in 2004-05
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Summarizes data collected from the Adult Education Survey of the 2005 National Household Education Surveys Program. Includes statistics on adult participation in ABE, ASE, ESL, and work-related classes.
Download/view: PDF (699KB) | HTML

Adult Literacy: The Next Generation
National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL), 1995
Policy paper examines research in the areas of literacy and economic well-being, literacy instruction and measurement, workforce literacy and competitiveness, family literacy, standards for teachers and programs, and technology. Conclusion provides recommendations for practice, policy and research.
Download/view: PDF (269KB)

Classroom Dynamics in Adult Literacy Education
H. Beder and P. Medina, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), 2001
Report describes data collected by NCSALL researchers on classroom dynamics from 20 classes in 8 states. Includes a literature review on adult literacy. Chapters cover teacher goals and perception of students, the content and structure of instruction, classroom processes, the effects of classroom composition, enrollment and funding, and implications for policy makers, practitioners, and researchers.
Download/view: PDF (991KB)

Helping Adult Learners Make the Transition to Postsecondary Education
J. Alamprese, Abt Associates, Inc., 2005
This Adult Education Background Paper examines the challenges facing adult education programs in providing transition services, offers examples of emerging transition efforts, and discusses the implications for policy and practice of these efforts to encourage more adult learners to pursue higher education.
Download/view: PDF (98KB) | HTML

New Skills for a New Economy: Adult Education's Key Role in Sustaining Economic Growth and Expanding Opportunity
J. Comings, A. Sum, and J. Uvan, for The Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, 2000
Argues that basic literacy skills required for economic security have changed and that insufficient skill levels among workers in Massachusetts put the state's future economic growth at risk. Defines basic literacy skills needed to meet demands of the new economy and analyzes the ability of the state's population to meet those demands. Also describes the role of and demand for adult basic education services. Presents case studies on building basic skills, examines the value of investing in ABE, and suggests ways to integrate ABE and other systems.

Practitioners Speak: Contributing to a Research Agenda for Adult Basic Education
Practitioner Dissemination and Research Network, National Center for the Study of Adult Literacy and Learning (NCSALL), 1998
Nine ABE practitioner focus groups from 1997 express their views on developing a comprehensive research agenda for the field of adult literacy. The focus groups discussed how current and future research addresses, or could address, issues that concern practitioners in adult basic education.
Download/view: PDF (85KB) | HTML

Rising to the Literacy Challenge: Building Adult Education Systems in New England
M. Liebowitz, A. Robin, and J. Rubin, Jobs for the Future (JFF), 2002
Compiles data showing that a high percentage of adults in New England perform at the two lowest NALS literacy levels, yet very few access ABE and ESOL services. Examines challenges to increasing participation in adult education, including poor funding, institutional isolation, and difficulty adapting to changing needs of adult learners. Recommends building partnerships as a step toward meeting the challenges.
Download/view: PDF (466KB) | HTML

Supply and Demand for Literacy Instruction in the United States
R. Venezky and D. Wagner, National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL), 1994
Looks at the delivery of literacy instruction in the United States, using recent surveys of service providers, data on the demand for literacy instruction, the National Adult Literacy Survey, and studies of adult literacy participation.
Download/view: PDF (594KB)