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Civics-Related Adult Basic Education

The Equipped for the Future initiative of the National Institute for Literacy (www.nifl.gov) sees adult basic education as a way to help adults develop the skills and knowledge they need for three life roles: worker, family member, and citizen. Many adult educators have for years focused on helping learners with the “citizen” role, by preparing immigrants for the citizenship exam and/or more generally helping learners to understand and participate actively in their communities – as voters or as participants and problem-solvers in a variety of community institutions.

 More recently, funding has been given to “English-language civics” projects, whose aim is to help immigrants develop skills in the English language and other areas that they need to become citizens and otherwise participate more fully in their communities.

 Shown below are some Web sites with resources for adult educators wishing to help learners prepare for their roles as community members and citizens.

 -- www.nifl.gov : The National Institute for Literacy’s Web site. Go to the Special Collections section and see the ESOL collection.

 -- www.nelrc.org : This New England Literacy Resource Center has a Civic Participation Sourcebook and a Civic Participation and Citizenship on-line collection. 

 -- www.brown.edu/Departments/Swearer_Center/Literacy_Resources/ The Literacy Resources/Rhode Island site has some useful civics-related resources. 

 -- www.ericacve.org : The ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education site has a great collection of online resources for adult educators, including many articles and digests on civics-related learning. Go to two different sections (“Search ERIC/ACVE Publications” and “Search ERIC Database”) and type in such terms as “civics” and “popular education.”

-- www.sabes.org : The System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES) Web site for adult educators in Massachusetts includes a number of publications related to civics education. (Do a search for “civics.”)

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