Published Resources

This section of the Website provides a selection of published and downloadable books, reports and e-books with a particular focus on practitioner-led research applicable to the Canadian field of literacy/basic education.*

  • Literacy Educators’ Perspectives on Transformation and Authenticity  How adults with low literacy skills have transformed through education and also raise epistemological questions on education’s place in the transformation and learning process.  Brenda Wright, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada Patricia Cranton, Penn State University, USA B. Allan Quigley, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada, 2007.
  • Connecting Literacy, Learning & Work. A very readable research report on how a literacy program in the Ottawa-Carleton region transitioned to a focus on workplace literacy. As the author, Christine Pinsent-Johnson explains: “Over the course of several years, the [literacy/Basic Ed] program I work in changed its approach to teaching literacy for adult students who had work-related goals. Underlying our new approach was a gradual transformation from seeing literacy as mostly a skill and task-based activity to seeing literacy as a practice-based activity.” As Christine says, “Connecting Literacy, Learning & Work … captures both the thinking and doing sorts of shifts that occurred. It … describes how learning and assessment activities changed, how instructors took on different roles, and even how we began to work with a more diverse group of students.”

For a print copy contact the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board….. Pinsent-Johnson, C. (2008). Connecting Literacy, Learning & Work. Ottawa, ON: Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Continuing Education department, 440 Albert St. K1R 5B5.

  • A Practical Guide to Action Research for Literacy Educators is one of the most complete “how-to” guides available. It is downloadable and written for use in any country. The target audience is schools, not adults, but the approaches to action research and the discussion of what is involved is excellent. Highly recommended.
  • Hardwired for Hope: Effective ABE/Literacy Instructors, Evelyn Battell, Leora Grasser et cal. What makes an excellent literacy/basic education teacher? Are you a “nurturer” or are you motivated by “political change?” Take a look at Evelyn Battell’s piece on page 67 in this important study. This PDF report gives a series of outcome reports from an action research project conducted in British Columbia by literacy/basic education teachers. It concludes with recommendations on what to look for in hiring ABE/literacy instructors, and gives findings on what this study group sees as essential qualities to teach in our field.
  • Participatory Practices in Adult Education, Pat Campbell (Ed.).This book, by several Canadian authors, gives a range of perspectives on approaches to adult literacy and the benefits of teaching adult literacy/basic education through participatory and collaborative approaches.
  • Focused on Practice, Jenny Horsman and Helen Woodward.  A survey of provinces and territories providing a report on adult literacy practitioner interest level in action research across Canada as of 2006. This unique report  gives examples of action research taking place across Canada as of 2006, along with discussion on the varieties of action research then underway.
  • Action Research in Workplace Education by Maurice C. Taylor.This is one of the few practical guides for practitioners with a focus on the workplace. It gives a step-by-step guide to conducting action research, a series of eight case studies and examples to help set up an action research study. The bibliography on workplace literacy and research is extensive and valuable unto itself.
  • Building Professional Pride in Literacy, B. Allan Quigley.  This is a dialogical guide for practitioners. It is intended to build literacy skills and knowledge about the wider field, the history of adult literacy education, and explores philosophical approaches to practice. Designed as a guide to be used collaboratively with others, if possible, it gives practical guidance on how to reduce learner dropout and ways to conduct action research in your classroom.
  • Rethinking Literacy Education, B. Allan. Quigley. This award-winning book discusses the myths of adult literacy, the conflicts between policy and practice, the view of ABE through the eyes of learners, and provides practical teaching and research guidance.
  • A Travelers Guide to Literacy Research-in-Practice, Mary Norton. This PDF publication provides reflections on practice and research-in-practice, together with step-by-step guidance for conducting practitioner-lead research. Very readable and engaging.

Watch for additions to this section of the Website..


*Selections and comments on each selected item are the opinion of the Research-in-Practice Steering Committee.