Research, Education research, research journal


Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy

About the ALE Journal

Adult Literacy Education (ALE) is an online, peer-reviewed, themed research journal published by ProLiteracy twice a year. The editors are Alisa Belzer, Rutgers University, Amy D. Rose, Northern Illinois University, and Heather Brown, University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

The journal’s mission is to publish research on adult basic and secondary education and transitions to college and career programs. It informs practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and funders about best practices in adult literacy, numeracy, and English language education in publicly funded, community and volunteer-based programs in a wide range of contexts. Each issue will consist of research articles plus other content of interest to readers (e.g., resource reviews, opinion pieces, and debates and discussions on timely topics of interest to the field).

Call for Articles

We invite authors to  submit articles or research for future issues.

Submissions should be in Times Roman 12 point font, double-spaced with one-inch margins, and formatted in APA 6th edition style. For full details, see the  author guidelines.

We are seeking submissions for a special issue of the ALE Journal on online learning, technology integration, and digital literacy. Jen Vanek, Director of Digital Learning and Research at the EdTech Center@World Education, will be the Special Issue Guest Editor. Click below for information.



Health Insurance Literacy and Low Wage Earners: Why Reading Matters

Iris Feinberg, Georgia State University; Daphne Greenberg, Georgia State University; Elizabeth L. Tighe, Georgia State University; and Michelle Mavreles Ogrodnick, Georgia State University 


In the United States, worker health care is funded through health insurance plans paid for by employers. Insurance plans are written in complicated language that low wage earners (LWE), who have lower levels of education, may find difficult to understand. We examined the relationship between health insurance literacy (HIL), education, and literacy skills for 75 LWE. Results indicated...

Contact: Iris Feinberg,; Daphne Greenberg,; Elizabeth L. Tighe; and Michelle Mavreles Ogrodnick,

Journeys of Transcultural Literacies: Working Toward Transformative Learning in Adult Literacy Education

Karen Magro, The University of Winnipeg

ALE Research Journal, Karen Magro

Transformative learning involves significant personal and social growth. Globalization, immigration, changes in socioeconomic patterns, geopolitical tensions, and advances in technology challenge teachers to understand and mobilize the changing dynamics, practices, and contexts of learning and literacy in more complex ways (Luke & Elkins, 2002). Transcultural literacies acknowledge multiple dimensions of literacy learning that build upon learners’ unique talents and aspirations...

Contact: Karen Magro,

The PIAAC Numeracy Framework: A Guide to Instruction

Donna Curry, Center for Adult Numeracy, TERC

ALE Research Journal, Curry, Numeracy Framework

Adult learners come to our classes at all different levels, with misconceptions, gaps in some areas but strengths in others. There is no class that is truly homogeneous, especially if the class is based on a one-time multiple-choice test. This messiness is one reason many adult education math teachers feel like the best way to work with their students is to have them all in separate... 

Contact:Donna Curry,

Why White Instructors Should Explore Their White Racial Identity

Stephen D. Brookfield, University of St. Thomas

ALE Research Journal, Brookfield, Racial Identity

Why should white instructors in multiracial ABE classrooms explore their own whiteness? If racial identity is largely a cultural, not biological, construct, then why focus on any form of racial markers? Doesn’t this constant harping on race create unnecessary divisions and stop us all from getting along? Well, it’s not talking about race that disrupts social harmony...

Contact: Stephen D. Brookfield,

“Race”ing White Instructors: Beyond the Black-White Binary

Edith Gnanadass, University of Memphis

ALE Research Journal, Gnanadass, Beyond the Black-White Binary

With the rise of overt racism, xenophobia, nationalism, homophobia, transphobia, and religious discrimination accompanied by attacks against women’s rights in the United States and other parts of the globe, Brookfield’s “Why White Instructors Should Explore their White Racial Identity” is a needed contribution to ABE. He shows how white normativity and the ensuing universalizing... 

Contact: Edith Gnanadass,

Response to Stephen D. Brookfield's Why White Instructors Should Explore Their White Racial Identity

Shantih E. Clemans, SUNY Empire State College

ALE Research Journal, Clemans

In principle, I agree with Stephen Brookfield’s strong assertion that white teachers need to carefully explore what it means to be white. However, I have two primary points of departure. First, Brookfield falls short in offering practical guidance to support the imperative of white- exploration. While I see the importance of white people embarking on self-exploration, I have more...

Contact: Shantih E. Clemans,

Response to Edith Gnanadass and Shantih E. Clemans

Stephen D. Brookfield, University of St. Thomas

ALE Research Journal, Brookfield

I want to thank my two colleagues for engaging so passionately and accurately with my work, and for problematizing all the omissions and blindnesses I carry. Their critiques are spot on and add nuance and context to a “fast and furious” analysis! As a 70-year old who is currently battling his employer for his speaking out on institutional racism, I am aware that my time for action...

Contact:  Stephen Brookfield,

Review of Foundations of Adult and Continuing Education

Cristine Smith, University of Massachusetts

ALE Research Journal, Smith

Faculty of adult and continuing education (ACE), take notice: there’s a new textbook in town.
While there are plenty of textbooks for graduate students on adult education, adult learning, and continuing education theory and practice, the new Foundations of Adult and Continuing Education by Ross-Gordon, Rose, and Kasworm (2017) takes a slightly different tack. The authors have designed it as a textbook about the field of adult education as a profession...

Contact: Cristine Smith,

Review of The Open Door Collective: The Workforce Basic Skills Resources Collection

Johan E. Uvin, Institute for Educational Leadership

ALE Research Journal, Uvin

The Open Door Collective (ODC) is a membership-driven, web-based resource portal for professionals in adult education, social services, and poverty reduction who have expertise
in connecting adult basic skills education to employment and training, health care, and family and social services. Practitioners are the primary audience with researchers and policy makers...

Contact: Johan E. Uvin,

Cultivating Creativity in Adult Literacy Education Settings

Dominique T. Chlup, Inspiring the Creative Within®, LLC 

ALE Research Journal, Chlup

Few traits are as desirable as creativity. In fact, according to chief executives around the world, creativity is the most sought-after trait in leaders. Yet creativity is also one of the most elusive concepts (Csikszenthmihalyi, 1996). There is no shortage of definitions. Some define creativity as novelty, effectiveness, ethicality (e.g., Cropley, 2001). Others characterize creativity... 

Contact: Dominique T. Chlup,

Blended Learning Program Development

David J. Rosen, Newsome Associates

ALE Research Journal, Rosen

The focus of the Technology Solutions for Adult Basic Skills Challenges column begins with common challenges facing adult basic skills practitioners, expressed, for example, in the LINCS Integrating Technology group for which I am the moderator, in other LINCS groups, in my national and state conference or webinar presentations, or privately in face-to-face discussions or by phone or email...

Contact: David J. Rosen,

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