Synergy Session: No Adult Left Behind: Adult Education in Changing Times

With Dr. Tannis Atkinson

Friday, April 4, 2014, McCann Centre, Education Building (ED-2030B), Memorial University, St. John's, NL

Dr. Atkinson's Presentation:

Presented in partnership with Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador and the Department of Sociology, with support from the Department of Gender Studies.

Session Description

The economic outlook for Newfoundland and Labrador is bright, but a looming skills gap threatens this promising future. On April 4th, join Dr. Tannis Atkinson as she untangles the connections between productivity, literacy and essential skills. She will share research about how basic education programs meet adults' needs, and what kinds of supports make it possible for such programs to do so.

Dr. Atkinson’s research builds on decades of research showing that, in Canada, policies often overlook adults with the least education. One result is that basic education programs are isolated and underfunded and these adults continue to get left behind. Her study of community-based programs in Ontario asked how literacy and essential skills educators cope with isolation and lack of resources, but also how they are able to help adult learners make positive changes in their lives.

Join us, as Dr. Atkinson invites us to consider how to make sure that adult basic education programs in Newfoundland and Labrador get the supports they need from the public, government, and employers.

Tannis Atkinson has worked in adult literacy in Ontario since 1984. She began as an instructor, co-ordinator, tutor trainer, and plain language editor, then in 2002 became editor of Literacies, a Canadian journal linking research and practice. In 2013 she received her PhD in Adult Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her work has been published in More powerful literacies (2012, NIACE) and Canadian education: Governing practices and producing subjects (2012, Sense Publishers). She is currently working on a book that is under consideration by McGill-Queen's University Press.