Powerful Listening: A Practitioner Research Project on Story and Difference in Adult Literacy (2009)

This report describes a collaborative research project entitled "The Uses of Narrative in Adult Literacy Teaching and Learning." A team of nine community-based practitioners/researchers based in Toronto met monthly, from September 2007 to July 2008, to reflect on their practice and on themselves as practitioners through the lens of story and diversity.

The participants told stories of why they do literacy work and of the challenges they face, particularly in understanding how social differences can affect practice. The authors said they found that listening in a non-judgmental way allowed them to learn from moments of discomfort they had experienced over the years.

As examples of social differences, the authors pointed to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, and ability, all of which shape how people listen and hear each other and the ways they feel or do not feel comfortable or safe in a group.

They concluded that differences are not a “problem” to be “managed” or “solved.” Instead, they want to learn more about how the ways they view their differences affect literacy teaching and learning.

The project, which was funded by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL), had three research partners: the Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre Literacy (DPNC); Parkdale Project Read (PPR); and Festival of Literacies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT).

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Added: 
2010-05-14
APA citation
Sally Gaikezheyongai, Tannis Atkinson, Guy Ewing, Maria Moriarty, Mary Brehaut, Nadine Sookermany, Sheila Stewart, Michele Kuhlmann and Andy Noel. Powerful Listening: A Practitioner Research Project on Story and Difference in Adult Literacy 2009. Web. 21 Oct. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/powerful/powerful.pdf>
Sally Gaikezheyongai, Tannis Atkinson, Guy Ewing, Maria Moriarty, Mary Brehaut, Nadine Sookermany, Sheila Stewart, Michele Kuhlmann & Andy Noel (2009). Powerful Listening: A Practitioner Research Project on Story and Difference in Adult Literacy. Retrieved October 21, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/powerful/powerful.pdf
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