Spring 2016, Volume 5, Number 1
We are very pleased to introduce this issue of the journal at the beginning of our second year serving as the journal’s editors. We are proud of what we have accomplished and glad to see the journal continuing to grow. In particular, we are pleased to have introduced two new features. The first is the Forum section, which focuses on current issues in the field. Our readers are encouraged to suggest topics or volunteer to participate in future forums. The second is the continuing publication of a selection of Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) research papers that we believe are particularly relevant to our readers. We are pleased that both of these new elements are featured in the spring issue.
The first paper in this issue is our second PIAAC paper. In it, Margaret Patterson and Usha Paulson ask how adults continue to learn formally or non-formally and how this learning relates to education levels. This is important because it provides some interesting insights into the participation of learners in a variety of learning activities. It also explores their barriers and motivators for learning. The PIAAC data provide new opportunities for rich analyses because they offer more information and context than was available from previously conducted studies.
In the second article, Karen Brinkley-Etzkorn and Terry Ishitani examine the transition of the test of General Educational Development (GED) from paper and pencil to an online format. In particular, they describe how two programs adapted to the changes in the test from both teacher and student perspectives.
The third article in this issue written by practitioners Kathryn Bangs and Katherine Binder. Bangs and Binder weigh in on some of the arguments associated with how to teach reading to adults and they raise questions about how we can adapt research done with children to the needs of adults.
This issue also includes a forum discussion about advocacy. Given constant threats of flat or decreased funding, this is an issue that is perennially important to the field. The first article by Art Ellison lays out the importance of advocacy within a broader political framework. He goes on to indicate some of the basic steps involved in advocacy while emphasizing its importance to the adult education world. David Rosen continues this thread and points to some of the newer ways that advocacy can be accomplished in a media savvy world. Regina Suitt provides an example of the kinds of advocacy efforts conducted by her program in Pima County, Arizona. Finally, Jackie Taylor summarizes these disparate approaches and provides a blueprint for thinking about advocacy for the future.
As usual, we have outstanding columns and reviews in this issue. David Rosen’s Web Scan column provides some websites for assessing writing which provides an excellent resource for teachers. We have included two book reviews in this issue. In the first, Cynthia Zafft reviews the latest installment in the Staying Healthy curriculum series published by the Florida Literacy Coalition. This much needed work is designed for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Zafft cogently covers its strengths and weaknesses. Vanek reviews a second book, Blended Learning for the Adult Education Classroom by David Rosen and Carmine Stewart.
Finally, this issue’s Research Digest article is written by Amelia Davis and Valerie Ambrose. They examine recent research on an evidence-based reading program by discussing its research design and its applicability for practitioners.
Amy D. Rose, Co-Editor
Alisa Belzer, Co-Editor
Heather Brown, Co-Editor