Literacy, Language and Community Publishing: Essays in Adult Education
Edited by: Jane Mace
This book brings together theoretical and practical debates from adult literacy and language education with those of creative writing and community publishing work. Illustrated by accounts of first-hand experience, each chapter focuses on the practical business of achieving good learning and development opportunities for women and men of all ages. Whether working with refugees seeking confidence in spoken English, elderly people reflecting on life experience, or basic education students wishing to 'improve' their literacy, the principle with which the writers are engaged is that of democracy — a process which has lessons both uncomfortable and exciting for educators, as well as for learners. In direct opposition to current imperatives to standardisation and 'standards', the writers in this book argue for the effectiveness of deeper and more generous approaches to literacy and language: approaches which are at the heart of the community publishing movement in the UK. As Judy Wallis puts it: I am not arguing that the teaching of formal skills should be abandoned. Adult Basic Education students know better than anyone that it is important to spell correctly and to write in Standard English because people will discriminate against those who can't... The issue is not whether students need to acquire formal writing skills, but how they can acquire them most successfully.