Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Employment Surveys; Canada; Adults; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Educational Trends; Enrollment Trends; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Independent Study; Informal Education; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; Nonformal Education; Trend Analysis.

Livingstone, D. W. (1999). Exploring the icebergs of adult learning: Findings of the First Canadian Survey of Informal Learning Practices. NALL Working Paper #10. Toronto: NALL Research Network, CSEW. OISE/UT.


This paper provides empirical estimates of the extent and distribution of self-reported learning activities in the current Canadian adult population, based on a recent country-wide survey, and briefly addresses some implications of these adult learning patterns. The basic finding from the survey is that most Canadian adults are spending a great deal and increasing amount of time in learning activities, most of this in informal learning on their own. The major implications are that Canada is already and increasingly a knowledge society in any reasonable sense of the term and that Canadian adults’ mostly informal learning practices should more explicitly be taken into account in shaping educational, economic and other social policies; adult educators should take this detectable informal learning into greater account to develop more responsive further education opportunities. There is a great deal of talk these days about living in the "information age", the "knowledge society" or the "learning society." The study described in this article indicates that adults in Canada now spend an average of 15 hours per week on informal learning. In light of this finding, if the crews of our big education and training ships do not increasingly look out for the massive, detectable icebergs of informal learning, many of their programs may sink into Titanic irrelevancy. However, before the survey findings are presented, informal learning should be distinguished from other basic sites of adult learning and the difficulties involved in studying informal learning should be identified.
URL: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/10exploring.pdf
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Employment Surveys; Canada; Adults; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Educational Trends; Enrollment Trends; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Independent Study; Informal Education; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; Nonformal Education; Trend Analysis.

Livingstone, D. W. (2000). Researching expanded notions of learning and work and underemployment: Findings of the First Canadian Survey of Informal Learning Practices. International Review of Education, 46(6), 491-514.


This paper analyzes the results of the first countrywide survey of the informal learning practices of adults in Canada, conducted in 1998. The survey found respondents to be devoting unprecedented amounts of time to learning activities, including an average of 15 hours per week in informal learning projects. Implications for policy and program initiatives are included.
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Employment Surveys; Canada; Adults; Adult Education; Conference Papers; Continuing Education; Foreign Countries; Informal Education; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; Nontraditional Education; Underemployment; Unemployment.

Livingstone, D. W., & Roth, R. (2001). Workers' knowledge: An untapped resource in the labour movement. NALL Working Paper #31. Toronto: NALL Research Network, CSEW. OISE/UT.


This study analyzed the schooling, further adult course participation, and informal learning of organized and unorganized workers in different occupational classes across Canada. Data was obtained from the first Canadian national survey of 1,562 adults' informal learning practices, conducted in 1998, and field notes and interview transcripts drawn from participants in the auto-plant case study of the Working Class Learning Strategies project conducted at five union locales in southern Ontario in 1995-2000. The study found that unionized and non-unionized industrial and service workers in Canada are increasingly highly educated, increasingly participating in adult education courses and devoting substantial amounts of their time to informal learning activities outside organized education and training programs. In addition, the study found that working people are generally engaged collectively and individually in an extensive array of employment-related and other informal learning activities that are neither fully recognized by most employers or union leaders nor given prior learning credit by educational institutions. The study concluded that underestimation of the current range and depth of workers' knowledge and skills by union leaders represents a significant barrier to further growth of the labor movement. Recommendations for strategies to facilitate union growth are suggested, based on what has worked most effectively in these locals of differing general organizational strength and demographic profiles.
URL: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/31workers.htm

KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Employment Surveys; Canada; Adults; Academic Achievement; Continuing Education; Developed Nations; Employee Attitudes; Employees; Employer Attitudes; Independent Study; Informal Education; Job Skills; Labor Force; Nonformal Education; Off the Job Training; Postsecondary Education; Quality of Working Life; Unions; Member Union Relationship; Union Leadership.

Livingstone, D. W. (2001). Basic patterns of work and learning in Canada: Findings of the 1998 NALL survey of informal learning and related statistics Canada surveys. NALL Working Paper (No. 33). Toronto: The Research Network on New Approaches to Lifelong Learning. Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/33working&learning.htm.


This study provided extensive statistics and documentation of Canadian adults' work and learning activities. The study included statistics for household labor and community volunteer activities as well as paid employment. Learning activities included both formal course work and informal learning, as well as on-the-job training. Data sources were the 1998 National Survey of Learning and Work by the Research Network on New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL); estimates of the extent of unpaid household and community work; the Adult Education and Training Survey; the 1996 census; the National Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating; and the General Social Survey. Findings of the study included the following: (1) in contrast to the concerns about Canadians' need to become "lifelong learners," the study found that most Canadians are already extensively engaged in learning and that the need for higher-level job skills has been greatly exaggerated; (2) in terms of work, Canadian adults are now spending about as much time in unpaid household and community work as they are in paid employment; (3) despite the rhetoric about a "knowledge-based economy," the study found only a gradual upgrading of job skill requirements, and knowledge workers still comprise a small minority of the labor force; (4) as a result of the increased amount of learning by adults and the slower increase of job requirements, many Canadians find themselves underemployed; and (5) instead of focusing efforts on further education and training for Canadians, society and government should address major paid work reforms in order to prevent underemployment from becoming one of the major social problems of the 21st century.
URL: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/33working&learning.htm
KEY WORDS: Change; Economic Development; Education Work Relationship; Educational Needs; Educational Philosophy; Educational Policy; Employment; Employment Qualifications; Government Role; Housework; Informal Education; Job Skills; Knowledge Level; Labor Needs; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; On the Job Training; Participation; Underemployment; Volunteers; Canada.

Livingstone, D. W. (2001). Expanding notions of work and learning: Profiles of latent power. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 82, 19-30.


Data from Canada's New Approaches to Lifelong Learning Study confirm the pervasiveness of unpaid work and informal learning. Most employed persons engage in a variety of work-related informal learning activities. However, underemployment in terms of the use of acquired skills is widespread.
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Employment Surveys; Canada; Adult Education; Education Work Relationship; Foreign Countries; Informal Education; Nonformal Education; Underemployment; Workplace Learning.

Livingstone, D. W., Raykov, M., & Stowe, S. (2001). Interest in, and factors related to participation in adult education and informal learning: The AETS 1991, 1993 and 1997 surveys and the 1998 NALL survey. Ottawa: Applied Research Branch, Human Resources Development Canada.


This report offers an analysis of factors related to adult learning in Canada based on the results of the 1991, 1993 and 1997 Adult Education and Training Survey (AETS) of program and course participation and the first national survey of informal learning by the research network for New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL) in 1998. The data documents that, while Canada achieved increasingly high levels of post-secondary schooling, the moderate levels of adults' participation in training activities declined during the 1990s. However, the incidence of informal learning is estimated to have reached an average of about 15 hours a week in 1998. Informal learning is more extensive than formal schooling and not closely related to either level of formal schooling or participation of adults in training activities.

An analysis of the AETS results suggests that perceived material barriers to training participation increased during the 1990s. Among those who were interested in taking training, lower income groups found lack of money to be the main barrier, while higher income groups found lack of time to be the greatest barrier. Further multivariate analyses of background factors and perceived barriers found that income level had a stronger effect on participation rates among interested adults than either age or schooling, and that perceived barriers appear to have much weaker effects than either income or schooling levels. The report ends with suggestions for informal learning measures and more inclusive measures of situational and attitudinal factors in future administrations of the AETS.


KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Interest; Participation; Barriers; Informal Learning; Formal Schooling; Further Education; Surveys.

Livingstone, D. W. (2002). Working and learning in the information age: A profile of Canadians. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Network.


Canadians' employment and working patterns were examined by analyzing the 1998 survey called New Approaches to Lifelong Learning and other recent surveys by Statistics Canada. "Work" was defined as comprising household labor, community volunteer activities, and paid employment, and "learning" was defined as comprising informal learning activities, initial formal schooling, and adult education courses and programs. The data indicated that Canadian adults generally spent as much time in unpaid household and community work as in paid employment. Canadians were extensively involved in learning throughout their lives. According to their self-reports, Canadian adults devoted an average of 15 hours each week to informal learning activities related to their paid employment, household duties, volunteer community work, and other general interests. Those in the labor force averaged 6 hours each week in job-related informal learning pursuits. A generally positive association between the amount of time people spend in paid employment, household labor, and community work and the time spent in work-related informal learning was found. Employment-related informal learning was more extensive than course-based training across nearly all employment statuses and occupational groups. At least 20% of the employed labor force saw itself as having skill levels exceeding those required by their jobs.
URL: http://www.cprn.org/cprn.html
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Adult Learning; Data Analysis; Definitions; Economic Change; Education Work Relationship; Educational Change; Employment Level; Employment Patterns; Enrollment Trends; Foreign Countries; Housework; Informal Education; Job Skills; Learning Activities; Lifelong Learning; Literature Reviews; National Surveys; Participant Characteristics; Participation; Policy Formation; Postsecondary Education; Public Policy; Time Factors (Learning); Time Management; Trend Analysis; Underemployment; Unemployment; Volunteers.

The Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning, (WALL) Survey


Livingstone, D. W. (2002). The changing nature of work and lifelong learning in the new economy: National and case study perspectives. WALL Working Paper No. 1. Toronto: Research Network for the Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning (WALL), CSEW, OISE/UT.
Lifelong learning is now widely assumed to be essential for everyone and has become a guiding principle for policy initiatives ranging from national economic competitiveness to social cohesion and personal fulfillment. But there is a critical absence of direct evidence on the extent, contents and outcomes of lifelong learning in all countries. Effective implementation of lifelong learning policies, such as those envisioned in the Canadian federal government's current Innovation Strategy (Government of Canada, 2002, pp. 37-48), urgently requires further research on actual existing adult learning. Similarly, the nature of paid employment appears to be changing rapidly in response to global competition, major new technological innovations and labour supply factors. But theorists differ widely over both the extent of workplace changes and their relations with adult learning. Further empirical research on adult learning in relation to the changing nature of work is required to test leading theories as well as to guide economic and educational policy-making.
URL: http://wall.oise.utoronto.ca/resources/wallwp01.pdf
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys, Educational Surveys; Canada; Paid Work; Unpaid Work; Changing Nature of Work; Change; Economic Development; Education Work Relationships; Educational Needs; Educational Philosophies; Educational Policies; Employment Qualifications; Government Roles; Housework; Informal Education; Job skills; Knowledge levels; Labor needs; Lifelong learning; National Surveys; On-the-job training; Participation; Employment; Underemployment; Volunteers.

Livingstone, D. W. (2005). Basic findings of the 2004 Canadian learning and work survey. Toronto: Research Network for the Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning, CSEW, OISE/UT.


The WALL Survey was conducted in 2004 with a large representative national sample of the adult (18+) Canadian population (N=9,063) to provide unprecedented quantitative detail on learning and work activities and their inter-relations. This survey is part of the research network on "The Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning" (WALL) funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as a Collaborative Research Initiative on the New Economy (Project No. 512-2002-1011). The survey was administered by the Institute for Social Research at York University. The network also includes 12 related case studies. For further information see our website: www.wallnetwork.ca. A previous research network, New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL), completed a smaller (N=1,562) related national survey in 1998 (see www.nall.ca). (Over 70 related survey and case study papers are now posted on the NALL site and numerous WALL papers will be posted on the WALL site over the coming few years).
URL: http://lifelong.oise.utoronto.ca/papers/WALLBasicSummJune05.pdf
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys, Educational Surveys; Canada; Paid Work; Unpaid Work; Changing Nature of Work; Change; Economic Development; Education Work Relationships; Educational Needs; Educational Philosophies; Educational Policies; Employment Qualifications; Government Roles; Housework; Informal Education; Job Skills; Knowledge Levels; Labor Needs; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; On-the-job Training; Participation; Employment; Underemployment; Volunteers.

Livingstone, D. W., & Scholtz, A. (2006). Work and lifelong learning in Canada: Basic findings of the 2004 WALL survey. Toronto: Research Network for the Changing Nature of Work and Lifelong Learning, CSEW, OISE/UT.


The 2004 Work and Lifelong Learning (WALL) survey provides general profiles of both paid and unpaid work as well as formal and informal learning activities of Canadian adults. Comparisons are made with the 1998 New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL) survey, as well as with a similar survey of work in 1982-83 and a few other relevant surveys of specific aspects of work and learning. The WALL and NALL surveys are distinctive in their attention to work-related informal learning activities and in offering population benchmarks for studying relations between work and learning activities. This report on the basic findings of the 2004 WALL survey is intended to provide general benchmarks for continuing studies of work and learning. It can be used most fruitfully in conjunction with reports on the 12 WALL network case studies that can be found at: http://www.wallnetwork.ca.
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys, Educational Surveys; Canada; Paid Work; Unpaid Work; Changing Nature of Work; Change; Economic Development; Education Work Relationships; Educational Needs; Educational Philosophies; Educational Policies; Employment Qualifications; Government Roles; Housework; Informal Education; Job Skills; Knowledge Levels; Labor Needs; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; On-the-job Training; Participation; Employment; Underemployment; Volunteers.

Miscellaneous Canadian Surveys on Learning and Work.


Lowe, G. (2007). 21st century job quality: Achieving what Canadians want. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN).
This report is the first comprehensive assessment of job quality in Canada in the 21st century. Basic job quality trends are assessed by using various Statistics Canada data sources to create a composite picture. Complementing this, statistical analysis of a nationally representative survey, Rethinking Work, offers new insights about job quality. The report asks two basic questions: Has economic prosperity resulted in improvements in job quality? Can improvements in job quality contribute to sustainable economic prosperity and Canadians' overall quality of life?

The answer to the first question is a qualified no: economic prosperity has not brought commensurate gains to workers in terms of better job quality since the turn of the millennium. Furthermore, relatively few Canadian employees have jobs that are consistently high quality on important dimensions. The answer to the second question is a qualified yes: job quality is a bridge between what matters to individual Canadians in terms of quality of work life and what contributes to sustainable economic prosperity. A statistically validated model of job quality confirms that the quality of an employee's work environment and the intrinsic nature of their job shapes their work experience and impacts job performance.


KEY WORDS: Job Quality; Economic Prosperity; Quality of Life; Surveys; Canada.

IV. International surveys on Learning and Work
International Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Surveys (IALS, ALL/ILSS).

Statistics Canada. (1996). International adult literacy survey. 1994-1996. User guide. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, National Literacy Secretariat & Human Resources Development Canada.


The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) was undertaken by thirteen governments and three intergovernmental organizations in a collaborative effort to fill the need for more information on adult literacy. In this survey, large samples of adults (ranging from 1,500 to 6,000 per country) worldwide were given the same broad test of their literacy skills between 1994 and 1996. The results provide the most detailed portrait ever created on the condition of adult literacy and its relationship with an array of background and demographic characteristics. The study's findings were summarized in a report published in December 1995, entitled Literacy, Economy and Society: Results of the first International Adult Literacy Survey 3, and a subsequent report elaborating on the findings published in November 1997, entitled Literacy Skills For The Knowledge Society: Further Results from the International Adult Literacy Survey. Several countries have published National Reports as well ¾ the respective National study managers as outlined in the introduction should be contacted for additional details.

This User guide summarizes the survey concepts and operations of the international survey. It is important for users to become familiar with the contents of this document before publishing or otherwise releasing any estimates derived from the IALS microdata file.


URL: http://prod.library.utoronto.ca/datalib/codebooks/cstdli/ials/1996/ials96gid1.pdf
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; OECD Countries; Canada; Literacy; Adult Education; Functional Literacy; Immigrants Education Canada; Literacy Canada; Economic Aspects; Wages Effect of Education; Educational Policy.

Statistics Canada. (1996). International adult literacy survey. 1994-1996. Questionnaire. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, National Literacy Secretariat & Human Resources Development Canada.


Statistics Canada conducted a national literacy survey in cooperation with the Department of Human Resources Development and the National Literacy Secretariat. Results from the survey will be used to plan programs suited to the needs of Canadians. It will also be used to compare Canadian needs with those of other countries who are conducting a similar study.
URL: http://prod.library.utoronto.ca/datalib/codebooks/cstdli/ials/1996/canada_englishque1.pdf
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; OECD Countries; Canada; Literacy; Adult Education; Functional Literacy; Immigrants Education Canada; Literacy Canada; Economic Aspects; Wages Effect of Education; Educational Policy.

Statistics Canada. (1998). International adult literacy survey. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.


In recent years, adult literacy has come to be seen as crucial to the economic performance of industrialized nations. Literacy is no longer defined merely in terms of a basic threshold of reading ability, mastered by almost all those growing up in developed countries. Rather, literacy is now seen as how adults use written information to function in society. Today, adults need a higher level of literacy to function well: society has become more complex and low-skill jobs are disappearing. Therefore, inadequate levels of literacy among a broad section of the population potentially threaten the strength of economies and the social cohesion of nations. With these high stakes, governments have a growing interest in understanding the level and distribution of literacy among their adult populations, and what can be done to improve them. The result was The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS). The IALS was a collaborative effort by seven governments and three intergovernmental organizations. The countries of Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States participated in the IALS.

The Canadian IALS survey had a number of objectives. These were: a) to provide an updated profile of adult literacy abilities for Canada for comparison to that provided by the 1989 Survey of Literacy Skills Used in Daily Activities (LSUDA); b) to provide sufficiently large numbers of Franco-Ontarians, seniors, social assistance recipients, unemployment insurance recipients and out-of-school youth to profile their skill levels; c) to shed light on the relationship between performance, educational attainment, labour market participation and employment for those at certain literacy levels; and d) to compare Canadian literacy levels with those in other countries. The results of the survey shed light on the social and economic impacts of different levels of literacy, the underlying factors which cause them and how they might be amenable to policy intervention.


URL: http://www.statcan.ca/english/Dli/Metadata/ials/1998/guide-e.pdf

URL: http://www.statcan.ca/english/Dli/Metadata/ials/1996/ials96gid1.pdf



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