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Title: The vocational turn in adult literacy education and the impact of the International Adult Literacy Survey
Authors: Druine, Nathalie ×
Wildemeersch, Danny #
Issue Date: Sep-2000
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Series Title: International review of education vol:46 issue:5 pages:391-405
Abstract: The authors critically examine some of the underlying epistemological and theoretical assumptions of the IALS. In doing so, they distinguish among two basic orientations towards literacy. First, the standard approach (of which IALS is an example) subscribes to the possibility of measuring literacy as abstract, cognitive skills, and endorses the claim that there is an important relationship between literacy skills and economic success in the so-called 'knowledge society.' The second, called a socio-cultural approach, insists on the contextual and power-related character of people's literacy practices. The authors further illustrate that the assumptions of the IALS are rooted in a neo-liberal ideology that forces all members of society to adjust to the exigencies of the globalised economy. In the current, contingent conditions of the risk society, however, it does not seem very wise to limit the learning of adults to enhancing labour-market competencies. Adult education should relate to the concrete literacy practices people already have in their lives. It should make its learners co-responsible actors of their own learning process and participants in a democratic debate on defining the kind of society people want to build.
ISSN: 0020-8566
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Participation (-)
Centre for Educational Development (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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