Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Household Surveys; United States; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Employees Training

NCES. (2003). National assessment of adult literacy (NALS) 2003. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences. U.S. Department of Education.


The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy is a nationally representative assessment of English literacy among American adults age 16 and older. Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NAAL is the nation's most comprehensive measure of adult literacy since the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS).

In 2003, over 19,000 adults participated in the national and state-level assessments, representing the entire population of U.S. adults who are age 16 and older, most in their homes and some in prisons from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately 1,200 inmates of federal and state prisons were assessed in order to provide separate estimates of literacy for the incarcerated population. By comparing results from 1992 and 2003, NAAL provides the first indicator in a decade of the nation's progress in adult literacy. NAAL also provides information on adults' literacy performance and related background characteristics to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the general public.


URL: http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/index.asp?file=AboutNAAL/WhatIsNAAL.asp&PageId=2
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; United States; Literacy; Adult Education.

NCES. (2003). National assessment of adult literacy (NALS) 2003. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences. U.S. Department of Education.


The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy is a nationally representative assessment of English literacy among American adults age 16 and older. Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), NAAL is the nation's most comprehensive measure of adult literacy since the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS).

In 2003, over 19,000 adults participated in the national and state-level assessments, representing the entire population of U.S. adults who are age 16 and older, most in their homes and some in prisons from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Approximately 1,200 inmates of federal and state prisons were assessed in order to provide separate estimates of literacy for the incarcerated population. By comparing results from 1992 and 2003, NAAL provides the first indicator in a decade of the nation's progress in adult literacy. NAAL also provides information on adults' literacy performance and related background characteristics to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the general public.


URL: http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; United States; Literacy; Adult Education.

BLS. (August 25, 2004). Number of jobs, labor Market experience, and earnings growth: Results from a longitudinal survey [NLSY79 round 17]. Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.


The average person born in the later years of the baby boom held 10 jobs from age 18 to age 38, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. More than two-thirds of these jobs were held in the first half of the period, from ages 18 to 27. However, baby boomers continued to have a relatively large number of short-duration jobs even as they approached middle age. These findings are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a survey of 9,964 young men and women who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979 and ages 37 to 45 when interviewed most recently in 2002. These respondents were born in the years 1957 to 1964, the later years of the "baby boom" that occurred in the United States from 1946 to 1964. The survey spans two decades and provides information on work and non-work experiences, training, schooling, income and assets, health conditions, and other characteristics. The information provided by respondents, who were interviewed annually from 1979 to 1994 and biennially since 1994, can be considered representative of all men and women born in the late 1950s and early 1960s and living in the United States when the survey began in 1979.
URL: http://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy79.htm, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys; Educational Surveys; United States; Earning; Labour Market Activity.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2006). The national longitudinal surveys (NLS). Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Longitudinal Survey Program.


The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) are a set of surveys designed to gather information at multiple points in time on the labor market experiences of six groups of men and women. The survey provides information on employment experiences, schooling, family background, social behavior, and other characteristics.
URL: http://www.bls.gov/nls/
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; United States; Literacy; Adult Education.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2006). NLS handbook, 2005. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Longitudinal Survey Program.


The NLS Handbook provides an introduction to and overall picture of the 7 cohorts that make up the National Longitudinal Surveys: NLSY97, NLSY79 and children, Mature Women, Young Women, Older Men, and Young Men. It is particularly useful for those who are unfamiliar with the surveys and their data. Each cohort-specific chapter of the Handbook is accompanied by detailed tables that provide users with information about many of the variables contained in each of the surveys over time.
URL: http://www.bls.gov/nls/handbook/nlshndbk.htm
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; United States; Literacy; Adult Education.

BLS. (August 25, 2006). Number of jobs held, labor market activity, and earnings growth among the youngest baby boomers: Results from a longitudinal survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Longitudinal Survey Program.


The average person born in the later years of the baby boom held 10.5 jobs from age 18 to age 40, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Nearly three-fifths of these jobs were held from ages 18 to 25.

These findings are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a survey of 9,964 men and women who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979 and ages 39 to 48 when interviewed most recently in 2004-05. These respondents were born in the years 1957 to 1964, the later years of the "baby boom" that occurred in the United States from 1946 to 1964.


URL: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys; Educational Surveys; United States; Earning; Labour Market Activity.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2006). The American Time Use Survey (ATUS). Washington: Retrieved November 30, 2006 from Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor http://www.bls.gov/tus.


The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing.

The American Time Use Survey is the Nation's first federally administered, continuous survey on time use in the United States. The goal of the survey is to measure how people divide their time among life's activities.

In ATUS, individuals are randomly selected from a subset of households that have completed their eighth and final month of interviews for the Current Population Survey (CPS). ATUS respondents are interviewed only one time about how they spent their time on the previous day, where they were, and whom they were with. The survey is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The major purpose of ATUS is to develop nationally representative estimates of how people spend their time. Many ATUS users are interested in the amount of time Americans spend doing unpaid, nonmarket work. These include unpaid childcare and adult care, housework, and volunteering. The survey also provides information on the amount of time people spend in many other activities, such as religious activities, socializing, exercising, and relaxing. In addition to collecting data about what people did on the day before the interview, ATUS collects information about where and with whom each activity occurred, and whether the activities were done for one's job or business. Demographic information-including sex, race, age, educational attainment, occupation, income, marital status, and the presence of children in the household-also is available for each respondent. Although some of these variables are updated during the ATUS interview, most of this information comes from earlier CPS interviews, as the ATUS sample is drawn from a subset of households that have completed month 8 of the CPS.


URL: http://www.bls.gov/tus/atususersguide.pdf
KEY WORDS: Family Life; Family Work Relationship; Housework; Leisure; Lifestyles; Quality of Life; Recreation; Social Interaction; Social Life; Time Utilization; Work; Working Hours.

NCES. (2006). National household education surveys (NHES). Washington, DC: nstitute of Education Sciences. U.S. Department of Education.


Description: Three surveys were fielded in 2005 as part of the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES). These were the Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP), the After-School Programs and Activities (ASPA), and the Adult Education (AE) surveys. Three surveys were also fielded in 2001 as part of NHES. These were earlier versions of the 2005 collections and include the Adult Education and Lifelong Learning Survey (AELL), the Before- and After-School Programs and Activities Survey (ASPA) and the Early Childhood Program Participation Survey (ECPP). The 2003 collections were the Parent and Family Involvement (PFI) and the Adult Education for Work-Related Reasons (AEWR) surveys. The data, data documentation, and software to help search through and convert the data from these surveys into SPSS, SAS, or STATA files are available on CD.
URL: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006078
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Household Surveys; United States; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Employees Training.

NORC. (2006). General Social Survey: GSS Study Description. Chicago: Retrieved November 30, 2006 from NORC, National Organization for Research Chicago, IL: University of Chicago

Available at: www.norc.org/projects/gensoc1.asp
The United States General Social Survey (GSS), conducted annually between 1972 and 1994 (except for 1979, 1981, and 1992) and biennially thereafter by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, collects information from the general public on a wide variety of subjects, including attitudes toward social issues, religion, education, jobs and the economy, government and other institutions, politics, and policy issues. Many questions are asked either in every survey or at various intervals across time, allowing trends to be analyzed. The 2002 GSS is of particular interest to sociological, educational and job related issues because it includes a battery of questions focused on work and related educational issues. A module, on the work related issues from ISSP includes questions on the working conditions, interpersonal relations and skiils. Another module examines use of the Internet, information and communication technologies.
URL: http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/ICPSR-STUDY/04295.xml

URL: http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/GSS/


KEY WORDS: Citizen Participation; Community Participation; Computer Literacy; Computer Use; Environmental Attitudes; Gender Roles; Government Programs; Health Status; Human Rights; Information Literacy; Life Cycle; Mental Health; Occupational Status; Political Participation; Poverty; Prejudice; Race Relations; Religion; Social Attitudes; Social Control; Social Indicators; Social Inequality; Social Issues; Social Justice; Social Mobility; Socioeconomic Status; Wages and Salaries; Work; Work Attitudes.



Section 1.3

Case Studies of Learning and Work



Beaud, S. (2000). Young workers. The social class decline of the "children of the era of school democratization". Lien Social et Politiques, 43, 103-112.


Through interviews with twenty-five young people from an industrial region in eastern France in the late 1990's, the social decline of young people of working-class origin who participated in the wave of school democratization for ten years between 1985-1995 is analyzed. Case studies of students expose their failure to pass the examinations that were formally opened to them, and their self-perceptions as only temporary workers in factories, because family members who attended a professional lycee may have done better. Findings show feelings of low self-worth connected to the return to factory work they had sought to avoid by undertaking longer studies.
KEY WORDS: France; Young Adults; Youth; Working Class; Education Work Relationship; Democracy; Academic Achievement; Educational Inequality; Case Studies.

Blau, G., Andersson, L., Davis, K., Daymont, T., Hochner, A., Koziara, K., et al. (2008). The relation between employee organizational and professional development activities. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 72(1), 285-300.


This study examines hypothesized common and parallel antecedents of employee organizational development activity (ODA) versus professional development activity (PDA). The researchers expected a common antecedent to affect both ODA and PDA, while a parallel antecedent was expected to affect its corresponding work referent. The study examines 197 medical technologists over a four year time period. Prior ODA and PDA were controlled for before testing hypotheses. Results show that the common antecedent of learning motivation was a robust indicator of both ODA and PDA. Looking at parallel antecedents, job satisfaction and affective organizational commitment had a positive impact on ODA, while occupational satisfaction and affective occupational commitment had a positive impact on PDA. ODA had a negative impact on subsequent intent to leave organization, but PDA did not have a similar impact on intent to leave profession.
KEY WORDS: Professional Development; Workplace Learning; Training; Motivation; Job Satisfaction.

Blouin, C. (2004). Engendering Canadian trade policy: A case study of labour mobility in trade agreements. Ottawa: Status of Women Canada.


Canada's commitments under labour mobility agreements associated with the N.American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Trade in Services are examined from a gender equality view. In this study a gender analysis framework is created to examine the agreements and the content of the agreements and immigration data are analyzed to identify differences in access to and use of, the agreements by women and men. Study provides a detailed examination of the agreements through case studies of 2 groups; nurses and women business owners. The case studies highlight differences in participation in, and impact on, government policy making by the 2 groups and discrepancies in the various data sets needed to evaluate the impact.
KEY WORDS: Labor Mobility; Canada; Commercial Policy; Labor Mobility; Case Studies; Nurses Supply and Demand; Women Employment.

Blustein, D. L., Kenna, A. C., Murphy, K. A., DeVoy, J. E., & DeWine, D. B. (2005). Qualitative research in career development: Exploring the center and margins of discourse about careers and working. Journal of Career Assessment, 13(4), 351-370.


This article explores the contributions of qualitative research to the study of career development and the psychology of working. Epistemological perspectives (logical positivism, postpositivism, and social constructionism) are discussed as they relate to historical context, career theories, and the various methods used within qualitative research. Prevailing qualitative methods within career development and the psychology of working, such as consensual qualitative research, grounded theory, and narrative analysis, are reviewed. The article examines exemplary lines of qualitative research on women's achievements, school-to-work transitions, work and relationships, and the constructions of school and work. Finally, the article concludes with an example of an assessment tool that is derived from research on constructions of work and school.
KEY WORDS: Psychology; Career Development; Qualitative Research; Evaluation Methods; Education Work Relationship; Females; Psychological Patterns; Constructivism (Learning); Social Influences; Interpersonal Relationship; Personal Narratives; Case Studies.

Bron, A., & West, L. (2000). Time for stories: The emergence of life history methods in the social sciences. International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, 37(2), 158-175.


This article considers the reemergence and development of life history/biographical research methods across the social sciences, together with the impact of feminist ideas. A reference is made to the study of adult learning and processes of constructing and reconstructing biographies in changing times, and when moving between different cultures. The article provides examples of the unique contribution such methods can make to enlighten the complexities of human experience. The article also challenges positivistic criteria of validity as well as the absence of the researcher's story from conventional research texts.
KEY WORDS: Life History; Research Methodology; Social Science Research; Methodological Problems; Research Ethics; Case Studies.

Burgoon, B., & Baxandall, P. (2004). Three worlds of working time: The partisan and welfare politics of work hours in industrialized countries. Politics and Society, 32(4), 439-473.


Annual hours per employed person & per working-age person capture important dimensions of political-economic success. This article also argues that partisan-driven work-time policies and welfare-regime institutions result in the development of three diverging "worlds" of work time: Social Democratic, Liberal, & Christian. Descriptive statistics for eighteen OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) states highlight broad clustering and trends suggestive of the Three Worlds, while panel estimation suggests the influence of partisan and welfare-institutional conditions underlying them. To further illustrate the political process and sequence of the Three Worlds, case studies of Finland, the United States, and the Netherlands are included.
KEY WORDS: Political Economy; Working Hours; Social Policy; Time; Industrial; Societies; Employment; Wealth; Democracy; Welfare State; Case Studies.

Carroll, J., Hatakenaka, S., & Rudolph, J. (2006). Naturalistic decision making and organizational learning in nuclear power plants: Negotiating meaning between managers and problem investigation teams. Journal of Organization Studies, 27(7), 1037-1057.


The article examines the connection between naturalistic decision making (decisions in context) and team and organizational learning (how feedback from decisions affects context). The study looks at twenty-seven problem investigation teams in three nuclear power plants, a setting that combines complex team decisions with organizational learning. Questionnaires were given to both team members and manager recipients of written team reports, and team reports were coded for qualities of their analyses and recommendations. The researchers find that team members value reports in which the team discovered causes or lessons that could be used in other contexts, whereas managers appreciate reports with logical corrective actions from teams with investigation experience. Teams with managers or supervisors as team members are better able to reach shared understanding with their manager customers. Teams with more diverse departmental backgrounds produce deeper and more creative analyses. Teams need access to information and analytical skills in order to learn effectively, but they also need management support and boundary-spanning skills in order to diffuse their learning.
KEY WORDS: Teamwork; Managerial Strategies; Collaborative Learning; Social Relations of Production.

Catherine, V., & Palmer, T. G. (2007). Efficacy of mandatory continuing education. Seminars in Hearing, 28(1), 46-54.


In order to ensure patient safety, professionals are expected to engage in continuing education (CE) in order to acquire new knowledge and skills. Licensing boards are responsible for protecting the safety of individuals residing in the state and, thus, in regulating the practice of audiology have implemented varying degrees of mandatory CE. The article systematically examines the relationships among mandatory CE, practitioner knowledge and behavior, and patient outcomes.
KEY WORDS: Mandatory Continuing Education; Adult Learning; Licensure.

Chan, D. C., Marshall, J. G., & Marshall, V. W. (2001). Linking technology, work, and the life course: Findings from the NOVA case study. In V. W. Marshall, W. R. Heinz, H. Kruger & A. Verma (Eds.), Restructuring work and the life course (pp. 270-287). Toronto: University Toronto Press.


This case study of the Canadian utility & petrochemical firm, NOVA Corp. depicts the link between technological change & work restructuring. NOVA Corp. is experiencing swift change in both its adoption of new technology and its organizational structure. The case study finds that most female employees are comfortable with technological change, particularly computer usage and that younger employed men are more technologically adept than their older counterparts. In spite of minimal computer skills, older men experience upward career mobility while linear progression is notably associated with computer competency. Though there exists some negative attitudes toward older workers at NOVA Corp, most are generally positive. Younger workers (under age 35) are more likely than those over 45 to see older workers (age 50+) as averse to attaining new skills.
KEY WORDS: Technological Change; Computers; Occupational Achievement; Worker Attitudes; Work Skills; Canada; Corporations; Age Differences; Adoption of Innovations; Organizational Change; Sex Differences; Case Studies.

Colson, M. A. (2000). A qualitative case study of Montgomery GI Bill education benefits and the paradox of underachievement in the U.S. Navy. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 61(4), 1619-A.


This case study explores the Montgomery GI Bill & its role in supporting the pre-enlistment career and education goals of active duty military volunteers. Using research methods including surveys, field research, review of current literature, and an in-depth exploration of the MGIB program a data record was created and analyzed. Emerging trends and patterns came together into two larger themes: the paradox of under-achievement by military members in spite of well defined pre-enlistment education goals and the sociological factors that inhibit that personal & professional development within a benefit-laden system. The study's implications and conclusions call for a review of MGIB and a re-design of how this once significant social change program is implemented.
KEY WORDS: Military Personnel; Adult Education; Benefits; Higher Education; Educational Attainment; Academic Achievement; Case Studies.

Curry, M. W. (2004). Critical friends: A case study of teachers' professional community in a reforming high school. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 64(9), 3239-A-3240-A.


This dissertation explores how teachers' professional inquiry communities at the secondary level represent a resource for school reform and professional development. This study, through video-based, qualitative methods and a multi-case case study design, investigates the situated practices of teachers as members of Critical Friends Groups (CFGs) - school-based, cross-disciplinary, oral inquiry groups. The research of these CFG case groups looks at how and to what extent participating teachers influenced instructional improvement and school reform. Findings show that these professional inquiry communities promoted teachers' ongoing instructional improvement, reflective practice, collective responsibility for student learning, and collegiality. At the school level, curricular coherence, interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, and a shared awareness of the school's reform progress/philosophy may be attributed to these CFGs. At the same time however, these CFGs provided limited opportunity for teachers' professional growth in their subject matter areas, exaggerated micro-political reform debates and divisions, and restricted systematic organizational learning.

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