Working sessions followed to allow participants to share and react to the ideas presented Creating Literacy Programs: The State of the Art was the topic of Jack Wigfield's presentation after lunch. From his experience in Alemany Community College, San Francisco, Jack raised provocative questions. Why do we want to make people literate? He referred to David Olson and Paulo Freire who showed the consequences that come from making people literate. Should we advocate literacy for those who don't need it or want it? What changes inside you when you become literate? What is and how do you measure personal growth? What about teaching materials? Can they be duplicated from region to region? Why are higher institutions so slow in starting a course to train teachers in ABE? These are questions which might be considered when literacy programs are being developed.
An afternoon Round table Discussion had additional shared experiences from existing literacy programs. Karen Dahmer of Hamilton spoke about the Laubach method; Cecilia Vasiloff, Toronto Volunteers for Literacy, talked about the use of LVA material; Ethel Anderson shared information about the Movement for Canadian Literacy, and Mary Johnson of Winnipeg reported on the progress and development of the International Centre. Also present was Pat Rigge, State University of New York, Albany. She discussed the pros and cons of the APL (Adult Performance Level) approach being used in the States.
The general feeling at the conclusion of the day was that there was a need for implementation of more ABE programs. To accomplish this, there must be recognition and support from the Ministry of Education, a start of teacher training courses, as well as an increase in production of inexpensive, consumable, relevant Canadian materials. Everyone seemed eager to get under way:
Professor Jones and his wife spent some time before and after the symposium and conference visiting with adult education and members of the Movement for Canadian Literacy in Toronto, Regina, Victoria and Vancouver
Professor Jones' report was co-authored with A.H. charnley and published by the National Institute of Adult Education A follow up volume by the same authors is entitled the Concept of Success in Adult Literacy and is available at US$30.00 from Huntington publishers limited, Editorial Office, 25 Nightingale Avenue, Cambridge CB1 4SG United Kingdom.
C. A. N . S. Conference, Geneva Park, November 5-8, 1978 .
Twenty people from Newfoundland to Vancouver attended the Adult Literacy Workshop conducted by the Adult Services Department of The st. Christopher House at the biennial Canadian Association of Neighbourhood Services Conference at Geneva Park, Ontario.
The two day workshop attempted to help the participants understand the realities of the students they teach and the materials that they are using.
The following issues were touched upon in discussion among the participants: curriculum, access of students to adult basic education, teacher training, literacy as providing an atmosphere for action, the target population, basic education as a means to improving the quality of life.
The recommendations made by it were in essence, that C.A.N.S., in conjunction with Literacy' and Educational Groups work towards the establishment of literacy training as a right of all citizens in order to exercise their responsibilities; that specific training in teaching literacy skills be provided.