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NIFL-WOMENLIT 1999: [NIFL-WOMENLIT:273] NIFL Fellowship: Bringi

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Date: Wed Sep 01 1999 - 23:20:21 EDT

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Subject: [NIFL-WOMENLIT:273] NIFL Fellowship: Bringing women's barriers to literacy to light 
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Through funding from a National Institute for Literacy Fellowship, Anson 
Green and Janet Isserlis will begin a year long project in October with the 
goal of assisting literacy/adult education practitioners in recognizing the 
effects of trauma and violence on learning as well as its effects on 
independence and self-sufficiency for women.  Using this awareness, and 
working from learning gleaned during the project year, Anson and Janet will 
develop a sourcebook and website including annotated resources and learning 
strategies useful in lowering barriers to learning and employment for 
survivors and victims of trauma in particular and for adult learners 

Janet's piece of this work will consist primarily in reviewing research on 
the impact of domestic violence on students' learning in the classroom, 
developing a teacher's guide and catalogue of resources. A large component of 
this work entails a ten month study group comprised of ten practitioners in 
Rhode Island who will participate in monthly meetings and develop their own 
inquiry projects into the effects of trauma on learning in adult education 

Participation in the practitioner study group is not limited to classroom 
teachers, but is also open to program directors. Working with or being a 
victim or survivor of trauma (domestic violence, political violence) brings 
particular challenges to learning processes.  This element of the project is 
designed to enable participants to heighten their awareness of the ways in 
which violence acts as a barrier to learning through exploring their own 
practice and ways in which learning occurs.

Anson's work will focus on developing ways for educators and social service 
workers to better serve women who encounter barriers while attending school 
or in their transition into work. Anson will work daily with his Welfare to 
Work computer preparedness class in San Antonio as well as facilitate monthly 
meetings with a focus group of learners, practitioners and social service 
workers in developing learning modules focused on a variety of themes. 
Domestic violence will be a large focus, but participants will also focus on 
a broad range of barriers associated with education or employment, including 
sexual harassment, low self-esteem and self-concept, and dealing with the 
everyday barriers many single-mothers face.  

The focus group will meet monthly to discuss individual work in the following 
areas: Practitioners and learners will field-test current materials from the 
La Cocina de Vida women's issue sourcebook, which Anson developed with 
learners last year, and participants will reflect on new identified barriers 
the group faces as they move into new jobs or continue their education.  
These reflections will be used to inform our work and expand the perspective 
of materials.  Learners and practitioners will assist Anson in a series of 
statewide workshops as well as assist in state and national conference 
presentations. Anson will work to coordinate these efforts into a sourcebook 
that will be useful for all who are interested in bolstering awareness and 
action in this area.

 Anson and Janet's final products will be interrelated publications 
addressing the findings from the work and research undertaken and described 
above.  Most importantly, we hope that through the process of working with 
learners and practitioners, posting findings to this list and inviting 
feedback, to emerge with recommendations and strategies designed to address 
policy and pedagogical aspects of the impacts of violence on learning. 

For more information, please contact us at or

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