Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research

Adult Literacy Cover

A high level of literacy in both print and digital media is required for negotiating most aspects of 21st century life -- succeeding in a competitive job market, supporting a family, navigating health information, and participating in civic activities. But according to a recent survey, more than 90 million adults in the United States lack the literacy skills needed to have fully productive and secure lives.

At the request of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science convened a committee of experts from many disciplines to synthesize research on literacy and learning in order to improve literacy instruction for the nation's adults.

The committee's report, Improving Adult Literacy: Options for Practice and Research recommends a program of research and innovation to gain a better understanding of adult literacy learners, improve instruction, and create the supports adults need for learning and achievement.  It also discusses technologies that show promise for supporting adult literacy learners. The report is a valuable resource for curriculum developers, researchers, federal agencies, literacy program administrators, educators, and funding agencies.

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The project was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education.