THE PROGRAMS IN COMMON: CRITICAL COMPONENTS
As mentioned in Chapter Four, The Programs in Common: Challenges and Opportunities, our national survey of Aboriginal literacy programs suggests that, given the diversity in Aboriginal communities, there is no ideal program, nor is there a typical one. What has become evident, however, is that there are a number of critical variables or components whose presence in an Aboriginal literacy program will contribute to the quality and longevity of the program. In short, there are a number of factors which contribute to the success of a literacy initiative. This is not to say that all programs must contain all of the components that we identify below. Nor are we suggesting that programs lacking most or all these ingredients are doomed to failure. Additional research would be required over a longer term to verify such a claim. Nevertheless, trends have certainly emerged in our national explorations with Aboriginal literacy coordinators, indicating that the presence or absence of "critical program components" seriously affect the quality of the program initiative.
We hasten to add that such terms as "quality" or "successful" are highly subjective and value-laden, but our research does provide preliminary indications that Aboriginal literacy programs which have "survived and thrived" have been those that have incorporated varying degrees of the following characteristics into their ongoing operations: