What ProLiteracy's Vice President Has Learned at the Ireland International Conference on Education in Dublin
Posted by Peter Waite on May 10, 2016 in categoryStories from the FieldcategoryNews

I am recently back from representing ProLiteracy at the Ireland International Conference on Education held in Dublin, Ireland. The conference was a mix of representatives from around the world discussing different educational approaches and findings. As is often the case, ProLiteracy was the only adult education organization represented and I did my best to share some of the practices that we in the United States are finding to be successful with adult literacy and ELL students.

Even with this group of highly educated professionals, it was clear that the concept of an adult literacy program, particularly in the U.S., was off their radar. Much as it is in the U.S., the unseen nature of the adult literacy problem means it goes unnoticed and unaddressed. I tried to share the importance of the issue as well as some solutions we are trying in the U.S. and with our international partners.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the conference was the sharing of ideas and solutions across countries and across grade levels. The most notable lessons for me were from a session I attended on gaming strategies for youth. It was clear many of these strategies would be of interest to our younger adult population and could easily be utilized within an existing curriculum.

This and several other sessions will be valuable in our efforts in the U.S., and hopefully the other participants learned some strategies we utilize that may be of assistance in other countries. It is our hope that the efforts of ProLiteracy will help not only our existing member organizations but other literacy efforts throughout the world.



  • Alden Lancaster 2 years 152 days ago
    Dear Peter,

    Thank you for yet again for making a difference! In this case, in this trip raising the awareness of adult literacy within the international education conference community, including sharing "what works" in the U.S. In the latter, you also have a great contribution to make, since we know that successful practices for adult literacy in the U.S. -- such as learner-centered and contextual literacy -- are successful for learners of all sectors everywhere.

    Your discovery is so deeply sad, even shocking,, that at international conferences such as these, there is usually no organization representing adult education -- especially adult literacy. In this era of the greatest disparity between wealth and poverty, with education considered the best way out of poverty, one would think all world educational conferences would address -- if not FOCUS on -- education with and for this all-to-often invisible adult literacy sector
    ... with and for adults who for often long lives have remained MOST unnoticed yet most in need.

    Thank for dedicating YOUR lifework to the struggling majority of our fellow humanity.

  • Marty Calanche 2 years 182 days ago
    I am a adult student, who recently learned to read in Tucson AZ, at Literacy Connects. I just got don reading about. The International Conference.
    I would like to say, that it hurt me to know of highly educated professionals here in the U.S., and abroad not take ere to this huge misfortune for a lot of us who can't read. For 45-years I could not read,
    and I'm thinking of all of the adults who need all the help we can get.

    Thank you Peter, for sharing this. : )

  • Pat Lawson-North 2 years 182 days ago
    Hello Peter,

    It is really exciting to know you were in Dublin to share the work of ProLiteracy and to learn from others too. We look forward to learning more about what we can all do to increase the awareness of the need and value of investing in Adult Literacy.

  • Peter Waite 2 years 185 days ago
    Thanks Dr. Follins. It is always beneficial to both share and learn from our other literacy colleagues around the world.

    Peter Waite

  • Dr. Craig T. Follins 2 years 187 days ago
    Interesting story. Thanks for sharing..


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