Welcome to SARN.ca

“Inquire, Reflect and Share”

The Saskatchewan Action Research Network is a network of practice-based researchers who provide action research training and mentoring, and also provide a repository and clearing house for practice-based research and resources.

What’s New? 

  • Last June, we heard from the Ministry of the Economy that SARN would not be funded this year, with no promises for future funding possible at this time. The SARN training team and its Advisory Board members then met in June and agreed to meet with the SABEA executive with a proposal. As a result, SARN is now a sub-committee of SABEA. As discussed in our latest blog, the SARN team remains available to advise and train literacy/BE practitioners in action research under SABEA auspices. If travel is involved, the team will need their expenses covered. Meanwhile, Dr. Allan Quigley, who now lives in B.C., is retiring (really) and is turning the SARN project over to the team–an accomplished team of practitioners close to the action and involved with daily practice.

    This latest 15 minute blog installment read gives a look at what SARN has accomplished over the past 13 years, what the “re-invented” movement will look like, and why SARN matters for the future of adult literacy and basic education in our province, together with Allan’s Farewell.

    On behalf of the SARN team and Advisory Board, I sincerely thank  you for all of your support and interest through the years. 


    Dr.Allan Quigley,EdD.


  • Is it possible to raise adult literacy rates without teachers, classrooms,  classroom buildings, textbooks or technology? Check out our May blog to see how this was accomplished across the Maritimes. Termed, “the most famous adult education project in Canada,” the Antigonish Movement changed the face of the Maritime provinces and its impact is still being felt today. Click here for this approx. 15 minute read, entitled:Knowledge for the People: The Antigonish Movement.”

By the way, this is the last installment of our “Heroes and Heroines of Literacy” series. Hope you have enjoyed it. Stay tuned for our annual “Lessons Learned” blog in June–the final SARN blog for this academic year.


  • Our April blog is: “Not the Exclusive Right of the Favored Few.” Frontier College: 1899 to Today.” About a ten minute read….check out the story of the most famous Canadian adult literacy landmark in our history. In fact, Frontier College is the only landmark in this blog series that still exists. And is alive and thriving.

    Click here to see how Frontier College has successfully used an outreach approach for over a century that should challenge long-held assumptions on “best ways” to deliver literacy, English as an additional language and basic education.


  • Webinar audio and power point: “Helping EAL Learners Transition to, and Succeed in, the Workforce” (2017)

    This webinar was presented April 12, 2017 by Julie Bell (2017). It is approximately one hour in length. You might need to turn the sound up on your PC or device. The last power point slide shows Julie’s e-mail address should you want to follow up with her.


  • The March blog installment is: “Jane Addams & Hull House: A Landmark in Citizenship & English as an Additional Language Education.” While most nurses will know who Florence Nightingale was; most K-12 teachers will know who John Dewey was; most athletes will know who the famous sports figures were in hockey, football and baseball…but why do we know so few of our own heroes and heroines in our own field? Maybe this may change with this year’s series on our heroes and heroines of adult literacy and EAL? But here is perhaps the most famous of all the founders of the field of English as an Additional Language–Jane Addams. A Nobel Peace prize recipient, credited with helping create what is now Social Services in North America, the person often credited with helping create the Factory Acts which limited the exploitation of child workers, and, germane to this series, the founder of Hull House. Hull House was the most famous of the many immigrant Settlement Houses that welcomed and helped Newcomers arriving in America during the early 20th century. Check it out. It is about a 12 minute read.
  • Our February blog installment is, The Little General & the Moonlight Schools of Kentucky.  Here is the story of Cora Wilson Stewart and the adult literacy movement she created—a movement that swept the United States in the early 20th century with a lasting impact on adult education here in Canada. Cora Wilson Stewart (the “Little General”)  gave us the beginnings of a delivery model, vestiges of which can still be seen today on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Click here to see her story (about a 12 minute read).
  • See a brief slide-show timeline of how adult literacy education grew up in Canada from the point of view of CUPE. This slide-show accompanies the CUPE book, Learning in Solidarity. Click here to see how adult literacy education has served workers in Canada for over a century.
  • The January installment is, “Literacy Under Slavery: To Taste the Forbidden Fruit.”  We travel to Port Royal South Carolina and learn about the little known Port Royal Experiment. It was an “experiment” to see if the freed slaves of the civil war were actually capable of becoming literate. Rev. Richardson and his wife risked their lives in the fight against racism. A 10 minute read… Next month will focus on the famous  Moonlight Schools of Kentucky.
  • This year’s blog theme is: “Heroes and Heroines of Adult Literacy.” Check out the December 2016 installment entitled, “Adult Literacy: Where did we come from?” This year, you will be introduced to some of our field’s heroic founders through history and learn about the landmark programs they created…landmarks that helped shape our field. Plus, this year’s theme challenges the age-old myth that adult low literacy is somehow a “temporary problem” that can be addressed by a “temporary field of practice.” We hope you like this year’s blog series.
  • Welcome to SARN 2016-2017. Click here to go to our first monthly blog instalment for 2016-2017. It discusses the mission of SARN; our Plans for 2016-2017, including the year’s blog theme of “Heroes and Heroines of Literacy,” and Ways to Get Involved. SARN is looking forward to another exciting year. Glad you can join us.
  • See the March 2, 2016  webinar: Strategies for Saskatchewan: Transitioning Adult Literacy & Basic Education Students to the Workforce (Part Two)”  power point slides and listen to the discussion at WWW.SARN.CA

Based on a province-wide needs survey, this latest webinar focuses on materials, curricula and activities you can use both in and outside of your program. You can also access Part One of this webinar series on this link. While part two is specific to classroom materials and activities used in various provinces, Part One takes a broader overview of workforce transition strategies used across Canada. 

We inspire adult education practitioners to critically reflect on and strengthen their practice through action-based research and provide support for the development of evidence-based research as we build a culture of inquiry in the field of adult education.

The Saskatchewan Action Research Network will be a thriving network of practice-based researchers. SARN will provide action research training and mentoring and provide a repository and clearing house for practice-based research and resources.

Note: You can communicate directly with the practitioners who have (graciously) added their email contact information on their reports (see “Saskatchewan Practitioner Reports). You can email them to discuss what they did and, also, if what they did might be “adapted or adopted” for your own teaching situation. For further details on SARN, you can contact SARN Co-Director Teri Thompson tthompson@cumberlandcollege.sk.ca  or Co-Director, Dr. Allan Quigley at aquigley@stfx.ca.

Questions about the movement can be directed to Allan and please see the contact page for further details.