Today's learner

Our work as Adult Literacy practitioners allows us to work alongside our learners to help them bring transformation into their own lives, their family life or the wider community. While our focus is on literacy skills development we do so much more than this and our work is across many different areas. Recently I came across an Educator’s Self Assessment Tool by Jackie Gernstein. There are 30 questions across 12 areas that I found to be a very interesting self-assessment.

Her theory is that today’s learner needs a variety of skills across many different areas to be able to adapt, function, live and flourish in today’s world.

All of us need effective oral and written communication.  This is the core of our work, it takes time, expertise and creativity to be done well.  On a daily basis all of us collaborate across networks whether with colleagues or family. This is true as much for our learners as it is for us and to be able to enhance learning this skill is required.

We all need to be agile and adaptable to change so the skills we learn must be transferable to situations outside of the classroom. Resilience at times of change and at times of difficulty is an important skill and ‘grit’ is an important quality for any work or activity.  We all see this with our learners how they stick with their learning and coming to the Adult Literacy Centre when life is chaotic and hard. Having empathy for others and an understanding of the wider world is important as it is having a vision of how the world can improve and change. This can involve small steps in the home or larger ones in a parish, village or town. Being able to self-regulate in terms of motivating oneself and reflection are important tools to help deepen the learning process. Curiosity and being inquisitive are important qualities in life and taking the initiative to take control of our own learning is important. This is something that many of our learners have already done by returning to education. Critical thinking and problem solving are essential skills and ones that we nurture and develop through our range of programmes.

The great thing about our work is that learners have many of these skills already before they even come to our centres and that learners learn from each other in the mixed small group settings.

This Self Assessment Tool is a good tool in helping us realise how valuable our work is across many areas. It helps us realise the impacts we have and the important outcomes for learners that we work with them to realise.

Skills and Attributes