"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Value added

In the business world, one of the things people look for in any new venture is 'value added'. Does the item, issue, or campaign add value to the organization? Is there a benefit to be gained from developing a new product, or modifying an existing one? The value added in learning a literacy is not always visible. Learning to read and write allows the reader to read and possibly change their world. Learning to use the computer opens another world to the learner, one that is so vast that knowledge is always being added. In such a short time I've come from literacy by literal definition to literacy as an event with value added.


  1. Joyce, you have no idea how your post fits so perfectly in to my 1-2-3 project! I was working on my slides and flipped over here just as you posted this.

    I am examining this exact issue: how the adult education system views literacy (reading & writing) and how it is quantified. Hmmm. So much to say but I will save it for my presentation.

    Thank you! Susan

  2. Yes, Joyce, you've once again lobbed a grenade into the trenches. "Value added" in k-12 policy is a contentious term indeed, having to do with what value teachers add to their students learning. Now, given our sophisticated socio-cultural lenses, we know that context is everything, and the context for this otherwise innocuous question is a high stakes, highly quantitative (and reductive) measurement system. Thus, if a teacher "adds value" to a student's education, it damn well better be the kind of value I (the legislature, the school system, the Council of Governors, the President's Council of Economic Advisors...) value. (Like getting higher scores on multiple choice tests.)(I just finished rereading Molosiwa's paper on missionaries and colonialism, so I'm a bit revved up...)


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.