Empowering women educators of adult literacy programs through technology integration
Angela Acott-Smith, St. Francis Xavier University , Canada
St. Francis Xavier University . Awarded
In New Brunswick, government-sponsored programs are providing free adult basic and literacy education classes to adults across the province. These classes often are in church basements or community halls with little or no connection to educational resources like libraries or the Internet. The facilitators are cut off from other teaching professionals and feel isolated as they attempt to provide a learning environment conducive to the needs of their adult learners. Most of these facilitators are women.
This study focused on a number of the women facilitators of these classes. The methodology used in this study was one-on-one interviews and on how computer training has served to enhance their skills and knowledge in using educational technology. The questions concerned the technical skills that enable the participants to communicate with others around the province, search the Internet for adult-appropriate learning materials, and support their continuous professional development. The themes that emerged from this qualitative study included: the facilitators' initial fear of computers when they began to use them; the efficacy of using computers for teaching in this area; and, the desire to learn for professional needs. Their personal learning preferences varied from hands-on trial-and-error to supported group learning.
One concern raised was about who provides learning support. Perceived gender factors included connected learning and technology learning, but participants experienced a sense of their empowerment through the empowering of others in learning computer technology. This study contributes to diverse areas of practice in adult education where women educators are integrating technology into their teaching practice and professional development.
Acott-Smith, A. Empowering women educators of adult literacy programs through technology integration. Master's thesis, St. Francis Xavier University.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
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