|The research process|
As the consultant for this project, I came with my own questions about the issue of self-management and self-direction. I had just completed a project that looked at transitions from community-based literacy programs to college upgrading programs. The result was a report called Tools for Effective Transitions, which stressed the importance of self-management and self-direction, and incorporated this area into a set of assessment tools and demonstrations. The project had started to raise questions about where the problem lay: was it just about learners skills and behaviours, or was it just as much about creating a supportive learning environment? The Ontario Literacy Coalition project on self-management and self-direction provided the opportunity to explore these questions and find out about other peoples ideas.
The project included three components: interviews with people involved in adult literacy programs in Ontario, academic research/ literature review, and an online discussion.
Interviews with people involved in literacy programs helped me to explore why self-management and self-direction were important for learning, and to find examples of how people incorporated this area into their programs. I held 26 interviews with literacy practitioners, researchers and learners from a broad range of programs across Ontario. I also communicated with researchers from Australia, Alberta, British Colombia and Newfoundland to discuss their approaches.
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