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Technical College System of Georgia Office of Adult Education

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Technical College System of Georgia Office of Adult Education Essential Knowledge for Adult Basic Education and Adult Secondary Education: A Handbook for Instructors February 12, 2013 Version 3.1 Table
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Technical College System of Georgia Office of Adult Education Essential Knowledge for Adult Basic Education and Adult Secondary Education: A Handbook for Instructors February 12, 2013 Version 3.1 Table of Contents Table of Contents... i Listing of Acronyms... iii Listing of Figures... iv Listing of Tables... v Credits... vi Overview... 1 Section 1: Understanding Adult Literacy in Georgia... 3 The Definition of Adult Literacy... 3 Literacy as Academic Skills (Emphasis on Skills):... 4 Literacy as Functional Skills (Emphasis on Application of Skills):... 4 Literacy as Social Practice (Emphasis on Social Transformation and Empowerment):... 4 The Guiding Definition of Literacy for Georgia s Adult Education Programs:... 4 The Scope of the Adult Literacy Problem in Georgia... 4 Fact 1: Many of Georgia s Adults Do Not Have a High School Diploma Fact 2: Because of Immigration, Many Adults Living in Georgia Do Not Speak English Well... 6 Fact 3: African Americans and Hispanics Lag Behind Other Ethnic Groups as It Relates to High School Completion Fact 4: High School Dropout Rates in Georgia Continue to Be High Did You Meet the Learning Objectives for this Section?... 8 Section 2: Understanding the Structure of Adult Education in Georgia... 9 Historical Background of Adult Education in America... 9 Structure of Adult Literacy Programs in Georgia Levels and Programs The Tests of General Educational Development (GED Tests) Did You Meet the Learning Objectives for this Section? Section 3: Understanding Adult Learners Understanding Some Causes of Low-Literacy in Adult Learners Understanding the Difference between K-12 and Adult Learners Understanding the Needs of Adult Learners Learning Styles Considerations Did You Meet the Learning Objectives for this Section? February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 i Section 4: Developing Effective Classroom Recordkeeping Practices Intake Assessment Form (IAF) Student Education Plan (SEP) Classroom Attendance Records Underage Youth Application for Enrollment Form Did You Meet the Learning Objectives for this Section? Section 5: Developing Effective Classroom Management Practices Recruitment and Retention Recruitment Retention Goal Setting Procedural Tasks and Instructional Models Procedural Tasks Instructional Models Safe Learning Environments Setting Boundaries Did You Meet the Learning Objectives for this Section? For Further Reading and Learning Georgia Resources Learning Inventories Appendices Appendix 1: Adult Education Program Intake Assessment Form Appendix 2: Adult Education Program Student Education Plan Appendix 3: Adult Education Program Adult Learner Daily Attendance Sign-in Sheet Appendix 4: Adult Education Program Enrollment Procedures for Under-Age Youth February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 ii Listing of Acronyms ABE AEA ASE EL ELP ESL GaGTP GED IAF Adult Basic Education Adult Education Act Adult Secondary Education English Language English Language Programs English as a Second Language The Georgia GED Testing Program General Educational Development Intake Assessment Form K-12 Kindergarten through 12th grade NRS OAE SDA SEP TABE TCSG WIA National Reporting System Office of Adult Education Service Delivery Area Student Education Plan Tests of Adult Basic Education Technical College System of Georgia Workforce Investment Act February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 iii Listing of Figures Figure 1: Comparison of High School Completion Rates in the USA and Georgia, Adults ages 25 and older... 5 Figure 2: Georgia Adult Education Support Structure Figure 3: Causes of Low Literacy Levels Figure 4: Maslow s Hierarchy of Needs Figure 5: Tasks to Be Completed Before Instruction Begins Figure 6: Factors to Consider When Choosing an Instructional Model February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 iv Listing of Tables Table 1: Educational Attainment in Georgia, Adults ages 25 and older... 5 Table 2: Number of Children and Adults Who Do Not Speak English Very Well, Ages 5 and older... 6 Table 3: Educational Attainment in Georgia, Adults Ages 25 and Older... 7 Table 4: High School Graduation Rates in Selected Southern States... 7 Table 5: Educational Functioning Levels Table 6: Structure of the GED Table 7: Five Differences between Adults and Children as Learners Table 8: Sections of the Intake Assessment Form (IAF) Table 9: Components of a Sign-in Sheet and Daily Attendance Record Table 10: Effective Retention Strategies Table 11: Identifying Learners' Goals Table 12: Strategies to Minimize Disruptive Behavior February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 v Credits This handbook is a publication of a cooperative project between the Technical College System of Georgia s Office of Adult Education and the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy at the University of Georgia. The idea for the project originated with those who run local programs, who requested that the Office of Adult Education develop a cost-effective way to ensure that all adult educators possess the essential knowledge they need to provide quality and consistent instruction for adult learners. The project produced three handbooks and an accompanying mastery test for each one. The titles of the handbooks in the series are: 1. Essential Knowledge for Adult Basic Education and Adult Secondary Education: A Handbook for Instructors. 2. Essential Knowledge for Adult English as a Second Language Education: A Handbook for Instructors. 3. Essential Knowledge about the Office of Adult Education s Curriculum Framework and Student Education Plans: A Handbook for Instructors. It is important to note that, in the course of the development, a decision was made to focus only on the essential knowledge that is common to every program in the state. It goes without saying that there is much more that effective instructors need to know. For instance, these manuals do not deal with instructional methods, partially because different programs and instructors use different methods and materials to meet the needs of diverse learners and diverse learning styles. Instead, each handbook deals with the conceptual, structural, and bureaucratic information that serves as the basis for Georgia s Adult Education system. This handbook represents the collective work of many people. The University of Georgia s Adult Education Research and Development Project led the development of this handbook, under the leadership of Tom Valentine and Brad Courtenay. The principal authors on the three handbooks were: Elizabeth Dillon-Marable for Handbook #1, Margaret McLaughlin for Handbook #2, and Carla DeBose and Barbara James for Handbook #3. Many other people on the UGA staff worked on a variety of formats and endless editing, including: Judy Milton, Colleen McDermott, Jennifer Rouan, Patricia Erwin, Kristi Leonard, Ain Grooms, Julie Range, Jihyun Kim, and Fred Prasuhn. Throughout the development process, we received consistent and valuable guidance from the Georgia Office of Adult Education, largely in the persons of Beverly Smith, Josephine Reed-Taylor, Carla DeBose, Robert Creech, Kimberlee Bryant, Barbara James, and Lynne Cage. Local program administrators and instructors throughout the state of Georgia also generously provided hours of their time and the wisdom of hardwon experience. February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 vi Overview This handbook Essential Knowledge for Adult Basic Education and Adult Secondary Education: A Handbook for Instructors was developed by the Office of Adult Education (OAE), Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The purpose of the handbook is to provide all Adult Basic Education (ABE)/Adult Secondary Education (ASE) instructors within OAE programs the essential information they need to fulfill the mission of TCSG/OAE: To enable every adult learner in Georgia to acquire the necessary basic skills reading, writing, computation, speaking, and listening to compete successfully in today's workplace, strengthen family foundations, and exercise full citizenship. Each year, many instructors who are new to the field of adult education enter the OAEsponsored adult education system. These instructors may have a background in K-12 education, with subject area expertise in math, reading, or the language arts. However, many of them will find the world of adult education to be quite different from their previous teaching experiences, and they sometimes lack an understanding of how adults learn and the principles of adult education. One of the goals of the Office of Adult Education is for certain core knowledge to be shared across programs, helping to ensure that instruction will be more successful and that collaborative efforts across the state will be more productive. This handbook has been designed to provide some of that core knowledge. It contains five sections: Section 1: Understanding Adult Literacy in Georgia Section 2: Understanding the Structure of Adult Education in Georgia Section 3: Understanding Adult Learners Section 4: Developing Effective Classroom Recordkeeping Practices Section 5: Developing Effective Classroom Management Practices Some of the questions that this handbook will help ABE/ASE instructors answer include the following: What motivates adults to continue their education? How do adults learn? How is the progress of adult learners assessed and reported? How is an adult classroom managed? February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 1 How do instructors help adult learners reach personal and program goals? As most seasoned instructors will tell you, adult literacy education is constantly changing, and it is often challenging to keep up with program requirements and expectations. This handbook will also address those current and ongoing program issues. The focus is on the fundamental information that the Office of Adult Education believes every ABE/ASE instructor in the state must possess in order to fulfill a variety of specific assignments related to adult education instruction, regardless of local program differences. The following important limitations apply: This handbook is not a substitute for educational training, academic degrees, or teaching certificates. This handbook does not provide in-depth training in reading or math instruction. This handbook is not a substitute for local orientations that focus on programspecific information about policies and procedures. This handbook is not a substitute for ongoing staff development training at the local or state level. This handbook has been developed to be a resource for educators in the state of Georgia. Anyone is free to use the handbook at any time. February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 2 Section 1: Understanding Adult Literacy in Georgia Adult Education instructors need to know basic information about the nature of adult literacy and the bigger picture of what is happening across the state. In this section, we will discuss different perspectives on adult literacy and the literacy definition most often used in the State of Georgia. We will examine the extent of and some possible reasons causing the literacy problem in Georgia. Learning Objectives: As you work through this section, you will: 1. Understand the way in which literacy is defined, including any specific definition used for Georgia s adult education programs. 2. Understand the extent of the literacy problem in Georgia. The Definition of Adult Literacy Over the years, the definition of literacy has been intensely debated and, as a result, has continually evolved. Literacy has been defined in both simple and complex terms. For instance, a college English professor might say, These students are not literate! This statement refers to a person s inability to perform high level processing of literature as well as an inability to write extensive papers. On the other end of the spectrum, literacy may refer to a person s recognition of letters. Still another perspective refers to knowledge in one s native language as compared to a student s ability to process print and converse in English. Because of the various uses of the term, literacy, there are many competing definitions that are used to drive curriculum and public policy. However, almost all definitions fall under one of three categories: Literacy as Academic Skills; Literacy as Functional Skills; Literacy as Social Practice. For the purpose of this handbook, however, the critical definition of literacy is the one recognized by the Georgia Office of Adult Education. This definition relies on a combination of two types of literacy Literacy as Academic Skills and Literacy as Functional Skills. February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 3 Literacy as Academic Skills (Emphasis on Skills): Skills-based literacy is literacy in the broadest terms. It is the ability to read, write, and compute. The focus of this definition is on the types of skills being taught and tested. Skills-based literacy is defined by Hunter and Harman (1979) as the possession of skills perceived as necessary by particular persons and groups to fulfill their own selfdetermined objectives as family and community members, citizens, consumers, jobholders, and members of social, religious, or other associations of their choosing (p. 135). Literacy as Functional Skills (Emphasis on Application of Skills): Literacy defined in terms of functional skills often involves the same definition as academic skills; however, in functional literacy, emphasis is on the application of academic skills. The focus is on how academic skills are used in the adult roles that learners fulfill as family members, community members, citizens, and workers. So essentially rather than teaching general reading, writing, and arithmetic functional literacy involves teaching skills within the social context in which those skills will be used. The emphasis here is on social relationships and how people use literacy behaviors to achieve social purposes in their own lives. Literacy as Social Practice (Emphasis on Social Transformation and Empowerment): In 1987, scholars advanced the idea of emancipatory literacy, which has at its core the concept of social transformation and empowerment. Instructors embracing this definition of literacy focus on the use of reading, writing, and numeracy as they relate to the social conditions and cultural issues that impact the learner s world. The Guiding Definition of Literacy for Georgia s Adult Education Programs: The guiding definition for Georgia s adult education programs incorporates elements of both the academic and the functional definitions. The ultimate definition upon which all publicly-funded programs are based is that which exists in the current legislation. Therefore, most Georgia educators currently focus on the definition of literacy provided under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998: (Literacy is) an individual's ability to read, write, speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society. The Scope of the Adult Literacy Problem in Georgia Although the definitions in the previous section will help you understand the different ways that literacy can be perceived and applied in the lives of adult learners, the larger question may involve the extent to which there is a literacy problem in the state of Georgia. A lack of educational attainment is a primary indicator of illiteracy, and there February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 4 Percentage of Adults are a variety of national and state agencies that track this data. In most State-administered, federally funded adult education programs, the students we are seeking to help include those without a high school diploma or without the ability to communicate fully in English. According to the data presented by the U.S. Census Bureau, we can identify four basic facts or truths that every instructor should know regarding the literacy problem in Georgia. They are as follows: Fact 1: Many of Georgia s Adults Do Not Have a High School Diploma. Table 1 and Figure 1 show the statistics for high school graduates or higher in Georgia and in the nation as a whole. As you can see, both nationally and within our state, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people with a high school diploma over the last 30 to 35 years. Still, as of 2010, Georgia remains slightly behind the national completion rate of 85.6%. However, the most important truth we face as instructors is the stark realization that approximately 1 in 7 Georgians do not have a high school diploma or GED credential. Table 1: Educational Attainment in Georgia, Adults ages 25 and older Educational Attainment in Georgia Percent of high school graduate or higher (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010) Figure 1: Comparison of High School Completion Rates in the USA and Georgia, Adults ages 25 and older US GA Years (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009) February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 5 Fact 2: Because of Immigration, Many Adults Living in Georgia Do Not Speak English Well. Although in other parts of the nation this has been a long-standing phenomenon, for Georgia, this is a comparatively recent event. Immigration into Georgia from foreign countries has been substantial in the last 20 years. We are now at a point where we are experiencing a high demand for ESL services. According to census data (see Table 2), in 1990 there were 89,216 children and adults who did not speak English well. By 2000 that number had more than tripled to nearly 312,000, and the figure for 2010 is more than half a million. Table 2: Number of Children and Adults Who Do Not Speak English Very Well, Ages 5 and older Year Georgia , , ,835 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010) Fact 3: African Americans and Hispanics Lag Behind Other Ethnic Groups as it Relates to High School Completion. Although approximately 1 in 7 Georgians lacks a high school diploma, these numbers are not evenly distributed across the population. This is particularly evident with respect to race. As shown in Table 3, as of 2009, Whites tend to have higher educational attainment than either African Americans or Hispanics/Latinos in our state. Clearly, the greatest need for high school completion is among African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. Analysis by gender, however, reveals that there is no meaningful difference between the percentage of women receiving high school diplomas and the number of men. Fact 4: High School Dropout Rates in Georgia Continue to Be High. Although statistically more Georgians have a high school diploma than ever before, Georgia continues to have a challenge in combating its literacy problem. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for the school year, Georgia ranked 45th among the 50 states with respect to high school graduation rates. Table 4 shows approximate dropout rates for selected southern states. February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 6 Table 3: Educational Attainment in Georgia, Adults Ages 25 and Older Group No Degree (%) High School Diploma or Higher (%) Bachelor s Degree or Higher (%) All adults By Gender Women Men By Race African American Asian Hispanic Latino Mixed Native American Pacific Islanders White (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS) 3-Year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) data. (This table was prepared July 2011.)) Table 4: High School Graduation Rates in Selected Southern States Selected States Freshman High School Graduation Rate By Academic Year Average Year North Carolina Tennessee Alabama Florida Georgia South Carolina U.S (Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2010) February 12, 2013; Version 3.1 7 Did You Meet the Learning Objectives for this Section? This section included information that every adult educator in Georgia should know. To make sure that you have learned this information, please ask yourself the following questions: 1. Do you understand the way in which literacy is defined, including any specific definition used for Georgia s adult education programs? 2. Do you understand the extent of the lite
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