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New Electronic Network on Adult Literacy Research at Teachers College, Columbia University Links More Than 1,000 Educators Nationwide

More than 1,000 teachers and researchers involved in adult literacy and basic skills education--some 500 in New York State alone--are sharing ideas on an electronic network headquartered at Teachers College, Columbia University.

More than 1,000 teachers and researchers involved in adult literacy and basic skills education--some 500 in New York State alone--are sharing ideas on an electronic network headquartered at Teachers College, Columbia University.

In the Action Research Professional Development Program (ARPD), teachers contribute to a national database describing and discussing tested instructional practices.

"Action Research taps into the extraordinary resources professional educators can offer," sayd William Yakowicz, director of ARPD. "The participatory network provides a structure to capture and make accessible effective instructional practices identified through teacher research conducted in a wide range of authentic instructional settings."

Adult literacy and basic skill educators work in a variety of settings across the nation, including libraries, community colleges and community-based organizations. For this reason, they often have little chance to share their experiences.

ARPD allows such sharing through a range of resources, including a quarterly "Exemplary Practice Files," based on discussions of a small focus groups of recognized literacy teachers.

ARPD participants use the "Exemplary Practice Files" as catalysts for reflecting on their own practice. They report research findings from their own classroom experience to Teachers College's Center for Adult Education, where the research is analyzed, compared with findings from other local researchers and reported back in the "File."

Each "File" is devoted to a particular theme or issue. Recent collections have covered: "what to do in the first class sessions," "using whole language instruction," "contextualized learning," and "alternative assessment."

Upcoming files will cover areas such as "critical thinking," "literacy for students with learning differences," "cooperative learning" and "family literacy."

ARPD participants also have access to an electronic bulletin board, "Literacy On-Line," where they can discuss common concerns and share information through e-mail.

"They can talk about what works in their classrooms and what doesn't work," said Jeanne Bitterman, an associate with the Program.

The ARPD Program originated with the New York Institute for Adult Development, a non-profit organization devoted to adult literacy, staff and continuing professional education and corporate training. The Program is now based at the Center for Adult Education, the research, experimentation, training and technical assistance provider of the Teachers College Department of Higher and Adult Education.

ARPD receives funding support from New York State. Participants can join the system by purchasing an electronic "subscription" on the "Action Research Files."

For more information, call 1-800-477-0515.

Teachers College, a graduate and professional school devoted to education across the lifespan and both in and out of the classroom, is an affiliate of Columbia University but retains its legal and financial independence. More than 4,000 students are currently studying toward both master's and doctoral degrees.

Published Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2001

New Electronic Network on Adult Literacy Research at Teachers College, Columbia University Links More Than 1,000 Educators Nationwide

More than 1,000 teachers and researchers involved in adult literacy and basic skills education--some 500 in New York State alone--are sharing ideas on an electronic network headquartered at Teachers College, Columbia University.

In the Action Research Professional Development Program (ARPD), teachers contribute to a national database describing and discussing tested instructional practices.

"Action Research taps into the extraordinary resources professional educators can offer," sayd William Yakowicz, director of ARPD. "The participatory network provides a structure to capture and make accessible effective instructional practices identified through teacher research conducted in a wide range of authentic instructional settings."

Adult literacy and basic skill educators work in a variety of settings across the nation, including libraries, community colleges and community-based organizations. For this reason, they often have little chance to share their experiences.

ARPD allows such sharing through a range of resources, including a quarterly "Exemplary Practice Files," based on discussions of a small focus groups of recognized literacy teachers.

ARPD participants use the "Exemplary Practice Files" as catalysts for reflecting on their own practice. They report research findings from their own classroom experience to Teachers College's Center for Adult Education, where the research is analyzed, compared with findings from other local researchers and reported back in the "File."

Each "File" is devoted to a particular theme or issue. Recent collections have covered: "what to do in the first class sessions," "using whole language instruction," "contextualized learning," and "alternative assessment."

Upcoming files will cover areas such as "critical thinking," "literacy for students with learning differences," "cooperative learning" and "family literacy."

ARPD participants also have access to an electronic bulletin board, "Literacy On-Line," where they can discuss common concerns and share information through e-mail.

"They can talk about what works in their classrooms and what doesn't work," said Jeanne Bitterman, an associate with the Program.

The ARPD Program originated with the New York Institute for Adult Development, a non-profit organization devoted to adult literacy, staff and continuing professional education and corporate training. The Program is now based at the Center for Adult Education, the research, experimentation, training and technical assistance provider of the Teachers College Department of Higher and Adult Education.

ARPD receives funding support from New York State. Participants can join the system by purchasing an electronic "subscription" on the "Action Research Files."

For more information, call 1-800-477-0515.

Teachers College, a graduate and professional school devoted to education across the lifespan and both in and out of the classroom, is an affiliate of Columbia University but retains its legal and financial independence. More than 4,000 students are currently studying toward both master's and doctoral degrees.

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