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Adult learners in intergenerationa staff PD workshop

Colleagues: Saturday April 13, 2013 I presented my one day workshop on Intergenerational Workforce Literacy Development in Fairfield, California. More than two dozen young adults and adult educators attended the workshop. This was the first workshop of mine in which both teachers and learners were in attendance together. The students got to learn about the importance of their educational experiences for their children’s educational development.  Some of the students told me that they learned a lot about the importance of education for their lives and how that can help them help their children learn better.  Interestingly, and importantly I think, there were several young men students in the workshop who learned how important their education can be  for their future fatherhood. Some of the  African-American students were surprised to learn about African-American adult educators who helped bring literacy to many African-Americans in our Nation's history and the roll African-American adult educators played in bringing about the 1964 Civil Rights and the 1965 Voting Rights laws.  I look forward to finding adult learners in future workshops learning alongside their teachers!<?xml:namespace prefix = o /?>

Tom Sticht


Workshop Title:

Intergenerational Workforce Literacy Development

Presenter: Dr. Thomas Sticht

International Consultant in Adult Education

Introduction to the workshop:

This workshop describes adult education programs and includes extensive illustrations of their materials and methods from professional wisdom and scientific research that have contributed to improving the life circumstances of both adults and their children through the intergenerational transfer of adults’ knowledge and motivation for learning to their children. It describes research showing that much of the success of preschool programs for children actually comes from the adult education provided the children’s parents.

The workshop presents data from many studies to advocate for greater investments in the education of undereducated youth and adults, many of whom are parents or will become parents, to help break the multiple life cycles of inequalities in education and economic achievement. 

Workshop Schedule, Topics, and Learning Outcomes

Part 1: 9:00-10:30am Making the Nation Smarter: The role of adult educators in closing education and economic achievement gaps passed from parents to their children.

Participants will view teaching materials and methods based on the professional wisdom of adult literacy educators from the late 1700s to the 1960s underpinning the contemporary concepts of workforce literacy development and the intergenerational effects of adult literacy education on the adult’s children.

10:30-10:45 Break

Part 2: 1o:45-12:00pm Functional Context Education: Scientific research on adult education programs which integrate basic skills and occupational education and influence children’s motivation for learning.

Participants will learn about the U. S. federal government’s calls for integrated and contextualized adult basic education and career education; learn methods for contextualizing and integrating basic skills and work-related skills; and learn about research indicating how such education can affect children’s motivation to learn.

12:00-12:30 Lunch

Part 3: 12:30-2:00pm As the Twig is Bent: How adult educators are helping adults develop their own and their children’s knowledge and character.

Participants will learn about the research which shows that both cognitive (knowledge and skills) and non-cognitive (personality and character) factors influence how well both adults and children learn and succeed in school and in the workplace. They will learn how adults transfer their own knowledge and character to their children via oracy and how that helps their children succeed in school.

2:00-2:15pm Break

Part 4 2:15-3:30pm Linking Home, School, and Work: Case studies of integrated adult workforce and parenting education programs helping close education and economic gaps between middle and lower income families.

Participants will learn about programs being funded by major private foundations and business corporations to provide education for undereducated, low income adults and their children to overcome societal inequalities in education and economic achievements.

3:30pm Workshop ends

Note that while I charge no fee for the Workshop, sponsors need to pay for my travel related expenses. For further education contact me at:

Tom Sticht







BBowen's picture

This sounds like a superb workshop, Dr Tom Sticht.  You brought in many aspects to build context for students who are unfamiliar with educational/literacy history in the US, and the political and social struggle for educational equity and justice.  Understanding these threads and the connections we all have from our past to the future, including our children, families and communities, expands our "shrinking- thinking" and convicts us a bit more to continuing our expansive mind and knowledge-movement.  Thank you for sharing your outline, and for your vision to our future.  It is very necessary, essential, and you are to be commended for reviving historical context and demonstrating relevance to our current issues and concerns.