4 Things You Must Consider When Developing Adult Literacy Curriculum
No matter what age we’re working with, our students learn best when motivated. Whether internal or external, practical or aspirational, the stronger the “why”, the better they perform. As educators, we must never lose sight of this, even as we coordinate our students’ educational goals with various state and federal standards.
As we set our instructional intentions, we need to keep (among many other things!) these four things in mind:
1) Blended Learning: Don’t just wheel in a television.
Of course, nowadays it’s more likely to be a projector or a Youtube link, but multimedia should no longer be thought of as a supplement. The pandemic provided an opportunity to explore technology as the foundation, as a flexible way to cater a lesson to each student’s needs, learning style, and living situation. The Online Learning Consortium defines blended/hybrid learning as “integrating online with traditional face-to-face class activities in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner.”
Technology isn’t a novelty anymore. Inside the classroom and out, it’s essential to understand and use it skillfully.
2) Upskilling: Preparing for the test that matters.
“Upskilling is the process of acquiring new and relevant competencies needed today and in the near future.” (Digitalhrtech.com) It’s an understatement to say that the world is evolving. People hoping to find meaningful employment need an increasingly diverse set of skills and experience to keep up with this change. Dallas is #3 in the nation for job creation in the tech industry. We need to be aware of these broader changes happening around us and consider how they will affect our student’s goals. That means not only knowing but keeping tabs on our student’s goals, and supporting their needs through how we curate our instruction.
Upskilling can include digital skills (social media, UX/UI), analytics skills (critical thinking, research), soft skills (creativity, persuasion, communication), and many other skills that we’d do well to integrate into our classrooms.
3) Family Literacy: Who’s teaching who?
Teaching an adult means teaching the citizen, the parent, the employee, the friend, and all the other roles that person has taken on in their life. Family literacy means recognizing and fostering the parent’s role as a primary teacher in their children’s lives. Read talk more about the ties of family to literacy in this article.
4) Health Literacy: The gap between the textbook and real life.
Specialized language can be difficult even in our mother tongue. One particular area where this is true is with medical jargon, pharmaceuticals, and simply navigating our health system. Simply being able to read complicated instructions doesn’t equal meaningful comprehension. Is there a way to meet your student’s goals, comply with state and federal standards, and address challenges like health literacy that students might not even be aware they must face?
You see the importance of these considerations, but creating an effective instructional strategy can be daunting. Thankfully, the 2021 Literacy Texas Annual Conference offers solutions to this challenge. Join us August 2-4 as speaker Ann Beeson presents “Student Goals & Instructional Standards: Coordinating your Curriculum and Instruction for Success”. She offers the resources and strategies you’ll need to keep your student’s goals front and center while also staying on target to achieve external standards.
Visit https://www.literacytexas.org/calendar/2021-literacy-texas-annual-conference/ to register and learn about the other speakers and sessions offered at this extraordinary event.