Functional Context Education: Making Learning Relevant (1997)

A One-day Workshop with Dr. Tom Stitch

This is a report on a one-day workshop presented by Dr. Tom Sticht, San Diego Consortium for Workforce Education and Lifelong Learning, in Montreal, September 26, 1997.

Functional Context Education is an approach to education that is based upon a cognitive science theory of cognitive development, learning, and instruction. The theoretical framework and the principles for applying this framework to the task of instructional development are discussed in this notebook.
Literacy is given special attention in FCE (Functional Context Education) because of its importance to all schooling and instruction in our information age. A general thesis is that the idea that literacy is something one must “get” in one program, which is then applied in another is misleading. Rather it is argued that literacy is developed while it is applied. This means that for the large numbers of youth and adults who read between the fifth and ninth grade levels, literacy and content skills education can be integrated. Therefore there is no need for special “remedial” literacy programs to get students to “prerequisite” levels of literacy before they are permitted to study the “real thing.”

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1 The Power of Adult Literacy Education

Chapter 1 The Growing Value of Adult Literacy: Education in the New Millennium

Chapter 2 The Literacy Skills of Adults: Assessments and Issues

Chapter 3 Some Challenges of Diversity for Adult Literacy Education

Part 2 Cognitive Science Foundations for Adult Literacy Education

Chapter 4 Views on Contemporary Cognitive Science

Chapter 5 Introduction to Functional Context Education

Chapter 6 Functional Context Education and Literacy Instruction

Part 3 Case Studies in Functional Context Education

Chapter 7 Functional Context Education Case Study # 1: The Functional Literacy Program

Chapter 8 Functional Context Education Case # 2: A Pre-employment, Job-related Basic Skills Program

Chapter 9 Functional Context Education Case Study # 3: An Integrated Basic Skills and Electronics Technician Course

Chapter 10 Functional Context Education Case Study # 4: An Intergenerational Literacy Parenting Program

The full text of this document is presently available on-line at the NALD website:

Get resource
APA citation
Thomas G. Sticht. Functional Context Education: Making Learning Relevant 1997. Web. 2 Dec. 2022 <>
Thomas G. Sticht (1997). Functional Context Education: Making Learning Relevant. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from
© 2022 Copian Library