Who, what, how, and why? Profiles, practices, pedagogies, and self-perception of adult literacy practitioners

Funding year: 
1 year
Post school sector
Project start date: 
January 2004
Project end date: 
January 2005
Principal investigator(s): 
Robyn Chandler
Research team members: 
Robert Tobias, with Vivienne Boyd, Julie Cates, Kellie Shanahan, and Cathy Solomon
Research partners: 

Project Description

This study began in the Spring of 2003, when we—the Canterbury Adult Basic Education Research Network (CABERN), an informal cross-sector network of local adult literacy researchers and practitioners—sent out a questionnaire. The questionnaire addressed potential respondents by asking: “Are you a tutor engaged in any aspect of adult literacy?” and the accompanying information sheet explained the main driver behind the research:

We began this particular project because we felt that, while there is a lot of talk currently on what
adult literacy tutors should do, there is actually very little material available on what they do do and
why they do it; our project is an opportunity for tutors to tell their own stories. We want to continue
the project on beyond this initial survey, and hope that anyone interested in further involvement
in the research will let us know. (CABERN, 2003, Appendix 1)

Practitioners were interested, and the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funding allowed us to extend the initial survey into a larger, exploratory project. We were interested in representing who adult literacy practitioners thought they were, not as they were defined by others.

Project Outputs


Presentations, conferences and workshops

Chandler, R. (2005). Who, what, how and why?: Profiles, practices, pedagogies, and self-perceptions of adult literacy practitioners. Paper presented at the annual conference of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE), Dunedin, 6-9 December 2005.