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Improved Communication Empowers Communities

by Phil Bartle, PhD

Dedicated to the memory of Peter Gzowski*

Introduction to the Module (Hub)

Documents Included in this Literacy Module

Design a literacy programme that is functional, practical, useful and relevant

Not every mobiliser gets the opportunity and challenge to design and present a programme of functional literacy. There may be no perceived need for it in the community, or there may be available programmes that need not be duplicated.

If the desire is there, however, and is not being met by others, you have a chance to contribute to an honourable and useful endeavor. This training module aims to guide you in custom designing an introductory and basic literacy programme for any audience of participants who do not know how to write and read. It is unorthodox and it does not give you a finished recipe, but encourages you to be sensitive, informed and aware of your clients, and design a programme, both its content and its methods, on the basis of what is relevant, practical and useful.

The module begins with a justification for taking this unorthodox and untraditional approach, Why Participatory Literacy? which presents reasons for designing a custom programme for each community

There is an umbrella document at the core of the module, Empowerment and Literacy, in which it lists eighteen principles in designing your programme.

That list is also available as a Workshop Handout, and links to each of the eighteen principles as single-page handouts. Each handout is suitable for a short discussion or for small group role playing, in a workshop for mobilisers and others learning how to design a literacy propgramme.

All eighteen are also combined in a single (but longer) document that you can use as a reference, Literacy Principles. Stroll though this module, and its eighteen principles; you can use it yourself, or as a training aid for a workshop on how to design a functional literacy programme.


*Note The late Peter Gzowski (Gzosky, Gzowsky) was a broadcaster (radio host) on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) who was well known for bringing Canadians from this geographically huge but wildly disparate country to an understanding of each other and to appreciate the culture and arts of each other. As an unpaid hobby, he dedicated his spare time to reaching and helping non literates to learn how to read and write, and to love doing it.

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 Following the path of least resistance makes all rivers and some men crooked

© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2012.07.21

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