Printer-friendly page. Such research shows that factors beyond the literacy level of applicants such as the local labor market, racial and gender segmentation, and access to social networks that can provide entry to employment are involved in the transition from public assistance to employment. However, the prevailing discourse of policy implies that because literacy level is clearly related to employment, the proper role for adult educators vis-a-vis learners on public assistance is to deliver them job ready and to place them in jobs as well.
Millions of adults in America never learned to read, perform simple math, use a computer, or creatively solve problems. This skills gap is increasing inequality, and it is hurting individuals, families, communities, the U. In an increasingly competitive world, America needs as many of our people workforce-ready as possible.
Welfare reforms have reduced both the probability that women aged will attend high school and that those aged will attend college, by percent. Over many decades, welfare programs in the United States focused on education and training as a means of developing "human capital"- skills and knowledge that increase the value of labor. The goal was to help those on public assistance become self-sufficient, aiding them in the ascent out of poverty.
Adult educationdistinct from child educationis a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values. In particular, adult education reflects a specific philosophy about learning and teaching based on the assumption that adults can and want to learn, that they are able and willing to take responsibility for that learning, and that the learning itself should respond to their needs. Driven by what one needs or wants to learn, the available opportunities, and the manner in which one learns, adult learning is affected by demographics, globalization and technology. The World Bank 's World Development Report on The Changing Nature of Work  argues that adult learning is an important channel to help readjust workers' skills to fit in the future of work and suggests ways to improve its effectiveness.
An estimated 36 million adults in the U. These individuals struggle to read a menu, fill out a job application, or read a bedtime story to their children. Adult literacy is a factor in almost every socioeconomic issueincluding parenting, health care, workforce development, and poverty.
The annual participation survey for Adult Learners' Week has proved a reliable barometer of trends in adult learning over the past 20 years. Last year, it showed a significant increase in people from the lowest socio-economic groups taking part — up by more than a third. Even allowing for statistical error, the figures were impressive.
In spite of the many best practices that showcase the benefits of adult learning, little research has been done yet to investigate the correlation between adult education and its impact on the economy. However, more and more often, funding for adult learning schemes depends on the availability of data that gives clear indications on the cost-benefit-ratio of learning. At the same time, people warn that focusing on the economic outcomes of adult education might lead to neglecting the intrinsic value of non-formal adult learning.
When we think of education, we usually associate it with the formal education of children, adolescents, and young people. Although they are the primary beneficiaries of education under international human rights law, adults are also recognised rights-holders. The right to education is, like all other human rights, universal and applies to everyone, irrespective of age. These aims and the other aims of education under international law cannot be met through education delivered exclusively to children.
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In recent years, single mothers on welfare have gone to work in unprece-dented numbers. But with limited skills and work histories, they usually get low-paying jobs and remain in poverty. The situation is especially acute for the half of the caseload that does not graduate from high school. Since recipients with higher skills tend to get better jobs, it seems logical that education and training should play a central role in welfare reform.