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Adult Literacy in Education and paper writing

Adult literacy paper writing can be categorized into two broad classes. One class concerns adult literacy for those people who have not gotten sufficient education to read and write in their formative years. Alternatively, adult literacy paper writing can concern people who are unable to communicate in speaking, reading and writing while they are past elementary education. On the other hand, a second category of adult literacy essays is for those who are literate in other languages, but cannot communicate in a particular language, which is essential to their objectives.

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Literacy is a broad spectrum of skills that are related to an individual’s ability to understand different phenomena.  There are different approaches to literacy in adult education. While some experts understand it as the ability to decode information, others describe literacy as simply a position of being informed. According to different authors, adult literacy is often associated with goals such as power, authority economic stability and quality of life. Researchers explore a wide range of theoretical approaches to adult education. These theories are viewed as either effective or redundant by several authors. Different authors’ approaches to theories of adult literacy, writing, and education are different, but they effectively explore the fundamental perspectives on adult literacy and practices in adult education.

Literacy for life is one common theory of adult education writing. This theory postulates that adult education writing is driven by desire to improve an individual’s ability to maneuver critical issues in life. Practical adult education is well known in Andragogy, a field that seeks to set adult education apart from the rigid structured pedagogical approaches employed in children’s education. Literacy for life approach favors individuals who join adult education programs with a predetermined objective (Demetrion, 2001). The objective of such students in an adult education program goes beyond the factor of interest in a particular subject. In such a case, adults have a challenge in their life that must be overcome with the knowledge of a particular subject as a necessary input. However other authors such as Durgunoglu and Oney point out to studies that suggest that quality of life depends on many factors, but not literacy alone (Durgunoglu & Oney, 2003). According to Demetrion, the goals set by students may not be precise because members of an education program want to feel that there is potential for improvement (Demetrion, 2001). This assumption is however more accurate in pedagogical approach to education. In adult education, goals are clearer in the mind of the learner. For this reason, adult education is best structured when it aims to write dealing with a specific aspect of life of an individual.

Another theoretical approach to adult literacy employs the perpetual problem of economic inadequacy in human societies as the major objective and the driving force. This theoretical approach views economic state of a society or an individual as the overarching subject when dealing with adult literacy. An anonymous publication on education stimulus from Bergen County focuses on the theory of structuring adult education with economic gain as the driving stimulus for writing (Bergen County NJ., 2008). The author of the article observes that literacy is an unpopular subject. Consequently, people with very basic reading skills will not admit to have a significant level of illiteracy. According to the article, productivity among writing workers is not as high as it potentially should be because of adult illiteracy (Bergen County NJ., 2008). In “Non-formal basic education as a development priority: Evidence from Nicaragua”, Handa, Pineda, Esquivel, Lopez, Gurdian and Regalia reinforce the idea of economic gain as the sole aim of adult literacy. In their particular study of situation in Nicaragua, in low literacy populations, non-formal adult education programs are effective at improving the state of economy (Handa et al., 2009). Basic literacy is the goal for such an approach. However, the authors still reiterate that such an approach is most suitable in the perspective of governance or political development. This approach to adult education, assumes that improvement of literacy among adults has the sole aim of establishing financial stability (Handa et al., 2009). Further, it is assumed that economic indicators are sufficient to evaluate performance of all other aspects of achievement in adult education and writing.  Although economic indicators appear to be simple and easily readable measures of achievement of literacy in adult education programs, accuracy cannot be guaranteed in all settings. However, this approach is more suitable in the perspective of governance and political development.

The role of teachers in adult literacy is important. Students in adult education writing programs do not easily adapt to the ideals of the assigned teacher with ease. Adults have significantly developed skills for critical evaluation. Student’s interaction with a teacher determines that effectiveness of the programs. In “Discerning Professional Identity and Becoming Bold, Socially Responsible Teacher-Leaders”, Michelle Collay argues that teachers are effective as leaders regardless of the nature of the students. According to Collay, adult learning is tasking for a teacher’s leadership while in pedagogical setting, leadership is easier since it is an instruction-based (Collay, 2006). Collay simply argues that leadership is needed to achieve adult literacy. Her argument is aimed at remedying the question of leadership in adult education programs, which she considers to have been ignored. Teachers have to present more and reasonable challenges in adult education programs (Collay, 2006). In addition, it must be considered that the students in such a program are experienced in life and must form a learning relationship with the teacher in order to accustom to the education setting.

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General theories of learning affect the concept of adult literacy and paper writing. There are two fundamental general perspectives on which theories of learning are based. It is arguable whether any of the models is effective than the other in an adult education setting. General theories of learning are mutually exclusive, and they are significantly definite. in structured adult education programs any theoretical deduction or assumption is evaluated within the general approaches.  According to Knowles, Holton and Swanson in, “The Adult Learner”, the Elemental theory of education presupposes that a learner with no experience in the subject matter is a clean slate that can be made to conform to whatever approach to literacy  is applied (Knowles et al., 2005). In contrast, the authors define Holistic theory of education and essay writing, where the learner is critical, and is allowed to experiment within a broad concept of literacy. When modeling an adult education program, it is considered whether the learner as any capacity to be critical albeit significantly illiterate. Any other theories applied in adult education falls in either of the two categories Knowles et al., 2005). The elemental and the holistic theories of learning are debatable since it is arguable whether an adult has any experience on a subject that is yet to be learnt. In addition, it is arguable whether there any normal human incapable of critical assessment.

There are different theories of literacy and in adult education. One approach presupposes that adult education is aimed at imparting basic literacy skills to adults in adult education programs. In contrast, other theories presuppose that adults have specific goals beyond reading, writing, and numeracy skills. An assumption that adults in adult education programs have specific goals makes adult literacy a broad concept. On the other hand, economic theories assume that adult literacy can only be assessed by the impact of adult education on the state of the economy. Finally, other authors postulate that regardless of the nature of the concept of adult literacy, success is based on the effectiveness of the choice between the holistic and elemental approaches to learning and essay writing.


Bergen County NJ.. (2008). Education stimulus. The Record, 15(1), 1-5.

Collay, M. (2006). Discerning Professional Identity and Becoming Bold, Socially             Responsible Teacher-Leaders. Educational Leadership and Administration, 18(176),          131-146.

Demetrion, G. (2001). Discerning the contexts of adult literacy education: theoretical             reflections and practical applications. The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult             Education, 15(2), 104-127.

Durgunoglu, A., & Oney, B. (2003). Development and evaluation of an adult literacy            program in Turkey. Chicago: International Journal of Educational Development .

Handa, S., Pineda, H., Esquivel, Y., Lopez, B., Gurdian, N. V., & Regalia, F. (2009). Non-            formal Basic Education As A Development Priority: Evidence From Nicaragua.       Economics of Education Review, 28(4), 512-522.

Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. (2005). The adult learner (5th ed.). Oxford:             Elsevier.


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