Publications - Research Briefs

These are 4 page overviews of the research on particular topics, often based on longer research reports published by The Centre.

IALSS and Francophone minorities in Canada: Theoretical and historical insights

Research Brief | Published in 2014
Authored by Jean-Pierre Jeantheau

Jean-Pierre Jeantheau (ANCLI, France) did a small research study for the 2013 Summer Institute in Montreal, comparing the experience of linguistic minorities on international literacy surveys in several countries. This summary in English includes the key ideas, findings and recommendations from the longer paper he wrote in French.

L’EIACA et les minorités francophones au Canada : quelques points de repère théoriques et historiques : rapport sommaire

Research Brief | Published in 2014

Le présent document fournit un sommaire des résultats d’une recherche menée pour le compte du Centre d’alphabétisation dans le cadre de son Institut d’été 2013 « Le Programme international sur l'alphabétisation et les compétences des adultes (PEICA) :
Apprendre du passé, préparer l’avenir ». Ce forum portait entre autres sur les leçons à tirer de l’Enquête internationale sur l’alphabétisation et les compétences des adultes (EIACA) de 2003.

Uncharted Territory: Can Social Innovation Revitalize Literacy and Essential Skills Programs?

Research Brief | Published in 2013
Authored by John MacLaughlin and Ron Samson

This research brief summarizes the paper of the same title posted in February 2013. It highlights what is known about social innovation, describes and analyzes the different forms of social innovation and considers if and how it might apply in the context of literacy and essential skills in Canada.

Ecologies of Learning: Culture, Context and Outcomes of Workplace LES

Research Brief | Published in 2013
Authored by Juliet Merrifield

This brief summarizes research on the ways culture and context influence the outcomes of Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills (WLES) interventions

The Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning: Challenging Assumptions

Research Brief | Published in 2012
Authored by Stephen Reder

This research brief by Steve Reder will generate questions and discussion about factors that influence the impacts and results of adult basic education and seed new ways to think about the implications for workplace learning.

Mutual Accountability and Adult Literacy

Research Brief | Published in 2009

Accountability plays a key role in the field of adult literacy. Indeed, practitioners often
juggle multiple accountabilities – to funders, taxpayers, learners, boards of directors,
the community, and their profession. These may be in tension with each other, as when teachers’ accountability to learners conflicts with their accountability to deliver what funders want. The focus in this brief is on the “mutual accountability” between the funder and the provider of a literacy service.

Understanding Horizontal Governance

Research Brief | Published in 2009

Horizontal governance is an umbrella term that covers a range of approaches to policy
development, service delivery issues, and management practices. A horizontal initiative may take place across levels of government, across boundaries between units of a single department or agency or among multiple departments or agencies, or across public, private and voluntary sectors. It replaces hierarchical leadership with collaboration, coordination, shared responsibility for decisions and outcomes, and a willingness to work through consensus.

Measuring health literacy: A challenge to curriculum design and evaluation

Research Brief | Published in 2008
Authored by Andrew Pleasant

There is a growing interest in health literacy and in developing curricula for health care providers and for the general public. However, developing curriculum without accompanying evaluation plans is like starting a race without a finish line, and current measures of health literacy are not up to the task of evaluating curriculum. This research brief critically reviews the literature on health literacy measures and proposes a future direction.

Audiotapes and literacy: A summary of current research

Research Brief | Published in 2004
Authored by Linda Shohet; Samantha Green

This is the second in a series of briefs that focus on evaluative research into the use of alternative means of health communication; these include plain language, audiotapes, videotapes, interactive media, and visual images. Searches were conducted of the medical and education literatures as part of a Health Literacy Project that examined the communication needs of patients with limited literacy or other communication barriers. The guiding question was: ‘What impacts have been documented in relation to the identified
target groups?’

Plain language and patient education: A summary of current research

Research Brief | Published in 2003
Authored by Tannis Atkinson

This is the first in a series of briefs that focus on evaluative research into the use of alternative means of health communication; they include plain language, audiotapes, videotapes, interactive media, and visual images. Searches of the medical and education literatures were conducted as part of a Health Literacy Project that examined the communication needs of patients with limited literacy or other communication barriers. The guiding question for these searches was: ‘What impacts have been documented in
relation to the identified target groups?’

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