A. For Institutions Offering ABE/Literacy Programs and ABE/Literacy Practitioners


  1. There are many references in our data to the importance of teamwork and the deleterious effect of a lack of collegiality in ABE/Literacy departments. We recommend that each program make it a priority to build the team atmosphere among instructors focusing on reflecting, discussing and debriefing of the teaching experience.

Personnel and hiring practices

  1. As other support structures within the community are no longer as accessible for our students, instructors are finding it difficult to balance their jobs. We recommend that all programs and unions revisit ABE/Literacy instructor job descriptions. More specific attention and value needs to be given to the full spectrum of the job in order for ABE/Literacy instructors to work effectively.
  2. Because motivation, beliefs and attitudes are so crucial to an effective instructor, we recommend that committees hiring ABE/Literacy instructors formulate their questions to elicit a clear picture of the motivation, beliefs and attitudes of the candidates. This is equally as important as subject area competence for a new instructor.
  3. We found that effective instructors made an authentic, respectful connection with their individual students. We recommend that hiring committees, in their hiring practices, explore ways to determine the difference between patronizing attitudes that see students as in need of help and attitudes that show respect for students and a willingness to work with students as equal adults.
  4. We recommend that counselling support be available to ABE/Literacy staff on a regular basis to deal with the effect of working with a population subject to trauma and who have a number of barriers to successful learning.