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Reflection on a View of Adult Literacy as Social Practice - Research Paper Example

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Reflection on a view of adult literacy as social practice Adult literacy programs are important aspects of human development policies that empower people to make critical decisions based on informed choices. Education facilitates knowledge acquisition and skills that are utilized to improve one’s socio-economic status and thereby their standard of living…
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Reflection on a View of Adult Literacy as Social Practice
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Reflection on a view of adult literacy as social practice Adult literacy programs are important aspects of human development policies that empower people to make critical decisions based on informed choices. Education facilitates knowledge acquisition and skills that are utilized to improve one’s socio-economic status and thereby their standard of living. UNESCO 2011 report claims that 793 million people across the globe are illiterate (Aaron, 2011). The adult illiterate population has difficulty in reading, writing, arithmetic and solving everyday problems. They are therefore, ill equipped to meet the challenges of time and remain stagnant in their poverty and get exploited. As such, adult literacy has emerged as one of the most important social issue of the current times that must be addressed collectively by the government, voluntary agencies, communities and corporate bodies. The traditional model of adult literacy mainly focuses on enhancing reading, writing, understanding basics of arithmetic and helping solve everyday problems of life. In the contemporary environment of rapid globalization and advancing technology, the compulsions of the transforming dynamics of multicultural society have become more complex. The varying needs of people coming from different culture, race, color and nationality have increasingly become vital factors that necessitate crucial aspect of cross cultural understanding. It is important that adult literacy should go beyond the precinct of traditional model of literacy and recognize multiple illiteracies. James (2011) asserts that NLS or New Literacy Studies Model addresses the issue with wider ramifications on the cultural dynamics of power play that exists within different cultures. NLS uses multidisciplinary approach that incorporates respect innovations in cultural psychology and sociology with strong emphasis on socio-cultural history and social practice theory. Respect for social practice is maintained but factors that impede the development processes are addressed through cross cultural understanding. It focuses on adult literacy as a tool to examine one’s position in terms of socioeconomic status, education, gender and race. Armstrong (2010) believes it is used widely in developing economies as it is closely linked to improving one’s socio-economic status. Most importantly, it attempts to address the myriad needs of the community and helps build relationships and communication among the culturally diverse society. It promotes entrepreneurial skill development in areas like tailoring, carpentry etc. along with traditional literary skills in reading, writing and numerical literacy. Hence, it equips people with professional skills so that they can better rehabilitate in their social environment and improve their job prospects. Adult literacy also facilitates and provides a challenging atmosphere for the people who wish to diversify and exploit career opportunities in new areas. Adult education or literacy needs to be handled sensitively as adults are faced with whole host of psychological problems which might obstruct their fair intentions and goals. Indeed, issues of self esteem are major barriers for a smooth adult literacy program as adults who convince themselves for the program are exposed to public comments and outlooks which may look down on their efforts as mere whims and wastage of good money on a lost cause. It is imperative to create congenial atmosphere so that they are not forced to compromise with their self esteem and ego, curricula suits their needs and requirements while they continue to fulfil their other priorities. Khan and Lourdes (2011) are of the view that adult literacy programs help the people to cope with the changes and evolve with times to acquire new skills and knowledge. This is a very crucial factor that widens the scope of adult literacy and encourages constant learning environment so that they can keep pace with the changing times (Malcolm, 2011; Sugan, 2011). It not only helps the target population to adjust to the changes but enables them to contribute towards a better understanding of the emerging challenges. I strongly believe that facilitating atmosphere must be created so that unskilled and marginalised population or workers can avail the opportunity to succeed in the developing knowledge based economy that helps improve their standard of living. The adult literacy is extremely important issue for addressing the inequality within society. Illiteracy promotes unjust and unequal distribution of power that are often misused and exploited against the vulnerable segment of our society. The adult literacy program, especially NLM is critical model of adult literacy that can empower people and facilitate in improving their quality of life. Moreover, the social model of adult literacy becomes hugely relevant in the contemporary environment of multicultural society as it addresses psychological as well as socioeconomic conditions of the people who need to become constructively employed and contribute to the development of society at large. (words: 750) Reference Aaron, B (2011). Imagining a transformed UNESCO with learning at its core, International journal of educational development, 31( 5), 558-561. Armstrong, C (2010). Access to knowledge in Africa: the role of copyright. Claremont: UCT Press.  Malcolm, B (2011). Learning, labour and union learning representatives: promoting workplace learning, Studies in the education of adults, 43 (1), 50-60. James, C (2011). Literacy as social reproduction and social transformation: the challenge of diasporic communities in the contemporary period, International journal of educational development, 31 (6) 614-613. Khan, A. & Lourdes, M. (2011) Coping with Regional Challenges, Lifelong Learning in Europe, 15(2), 207-214. Sugan, B. (2011). Adult and continuing education. New Delhi: Mittal Publications.   Read More
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