Towards a Profile of the Adult Literacy Sector
by Lindsay Kennedy
For many years, people in the literacy field have talked about professionalization.
Some adult literacy educators are in favour, while others are sceptical.Does
this mean that everyone working in literacy—paid staff and
volunteers—would have to meet a set of standards? How would
the field benefit? How would individual educators benefit? Would
professionalization help to raise theprofile of adult literacy in
We can’t answer these or other questions without conducting
a thorough and systematic study of our field. The first step in this
study is to understand who works in our field now, and under what
conditions. The Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL) hired Sue Folinsbee
to conduct an initial review of working conditions for adult literacy
educators. Sue looked at major research papers and reports and talked
to key informants from our coalitions and other organizations. She
collected information about how people are hired, their education
and their ongoing training. She also looked at models from a range
of related sectors from Canada and other countries.
A project advisory committee is reviewing and analyzing the data.
Our next step is to develop a proposal for a thorough sector study.
For more information contact the project manager, Lindsay Kennedy,