Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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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.

Barr-Telford, L., Smith, K., Williams, T., & Kastberg, D. (2000). Adult literacy and lifeskills survey (ALL): Background questionnaire content. Ottawa: NCES, OECD, and Statistics Canada.


The Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (formerly known as the International Lifeskills Survey (ILSS)) is a large-scale, comparative survey that goes beyond previous international studies. In addition to the literacy skills measured in the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), ALL is designed to identify and measure a broader range of skills in the adult population (age 16-65) in each participating country. The skills to be directly measured are: prose and document literacy, numeracy, and analytical reasoning. In addition the assessment will be accompanied by the Background Questionnaire, which will collect participant information and indirectly measure two other skill domains as well. Those skills are: teamwork, and ICT literacy. Additional information about the survey is available in the ALL International Planning Report. The Overarching Framework for Understanding and Assessing Lifeskills lays out the theoretical and conceptual foundations for the survey.
URL: http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/all/
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.

Lowe, G. S., & McAuley, J. (2000). Adult literacy and lifeskills survey. Information and communication technology literacy assessment framework. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Canadian Policy Research Networks and University of Alberta.


The purpose of this document is to briefly outline a conceptual framework and question content for an information and communication technology (ICT) literacy module for the ALLS. Because both the framework and the measures have been developed through consultation with various ALLS research team members, content area experts, and National Project Managers, this process is also described. Based on a selective yet illustrative review of relevant literature, the paper provides a rationale for the need to include such a module within an international context and the factors that may influence ICT literacy skills of potential respondents.
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.

NCES. (2003). The 2003 international adult literacy and lifeskills survey (ALL). Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences. U.S. Department of Education.


The 2003 International Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL) consisted of two components: A background questionnaire designed to collect general participant information (such as sex, age, race/ethnicity, education level, and labor force status) and more targeted questions related to literacy practices, familiarity with information and communication technology, education course taking, and health. Trained interviewers administered approximately 45 minutes of background questions and 60 minutes of assessment items to participants in their homes. Sample items can be found online with this Issue Brief and at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/all. In the United States, a nationally representative sample of 3,420 adults ages 16-65 participated in ALL. Data collection for the United States took place between January and June 2003.
URL: http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/all/issuebrief.asp?issuebriefType=2
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; United States; International Surveys; Literacy; Adult Education.

Statistics Canada. (2003). International adult literacy and skills survey (IALSS). Ottawa: Statistics Canada.


The 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) is the Canadian component of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL). The main purpose of the survey was to find out how well adults used printed information to function in society. Survey data include background information (demographic, education, language, labour force, training, literacy uses, information and communication technology, income) and psychometric results of respondents' proficiency along four skill domains: prose and document literacy, numeracy and problem-solving.

The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey was a seven-country initiative conducted in 2003. In every country nationally representative samples of adults aged 16-65 were interviewed and tested at home, using the same psychometric test to measure prose and document literacy as well as numeracy and problem-solving skills. In Canada, the survey population was expanded to provide information on respondents over the age of 65. The main purpose of the survey was to find out how well adults used printed information to function in society. Another aim was to collect data on the incidence and volume of participation in adult education and training, and to investigate the relationships between initial and adult education, on the one hand, and literacy, numeracy and problem-solving proficiency and wider economic and social outcomes, on the other. In addition, a subsidiary goal was to provide information regarding change in the distribution of skills over the years since the previous survey (the 1994, International Adult Literacy Survey - to access the 1994 IALS metadata, please use the "Other reference periods" link in the sidebar above). The link between the two measures was made by using items from the 1994 study in the design of the 2003 study.

Users of the data include federal and provincial governments, academics, literacy and skills development professionals, media and interested members of the public. The data are used to inform policy decisions, help effectively allocate resources where needed and inform decisions on the composition and content of remedial skill development course and adult education.
URL: http://www.statcan.ca/cgi-bin/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SDDS= 4406& lang =en&db=IMDB&dbg=f&adm=8&dis=2
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.

Murray, T. S., Clermont, Y., & Binkley, M. (2005). International adult literacy survey: Measuring adult literacy and life skills: New frameworks for assessment. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.


The objective of this report is to document key aspects of the development of the International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) - its theoretical roots, the domains selected for possible assessment, the approaches taken to assessment in each domain and the criteria that were employed to decide which domains were to be carried in the final design. As conceived, the ALL survey was meant to build on the success of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) assessments by extending the range of skills assessed and by improving the quality of the assessment methods employed. This report documents several successes including:

- the development of a new framework and associated robust measures for problem solving

- the development of a powerful numeracy framework and associated robust measures

- the specification of frameworks for practical cognition, teamwork and information and communication technology literacy.

The report also provides insight into those domains where development failed to yield approaches to assessment of sufficient quality, insight that reminds us that scientific advance in this domain hard won (From Foreword).
URL: http://www.nald.ca/fulltext/measlit/intro.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.

European Union Surveys on Learning and Work


European Commission. (2000). Analysis of the results of the labour force survey ad hoc module 2000 on transition from education to working life. Brussels: EUROSTAT European Commission.
Young people's unemployment is a subject which has been supplying public debates for about twenty years in the majority of European Union countries. Definite increased risks of unemployment among young people are observed in the majority of countries, accompanying the overall unemployment trend. School-to-work transition is a key issue in Education and Training as well as Employment policies. The relationship between education and training level and the transition, as well as that between initial transition and long-term perspectives on the labour market have been extensively studied. The studies point at this process as crucial for policy-making in Education and Training and Employment

The objectives of this report are twofold:

1) Analysis of the methodological aspects:

i) Comparisons of the different national implementation

ii) Review of the module including propositions for improving the features with the idea of repeating the module in the next few years, as well as developing it with the idea of launching a discussion for a specific survey on those who leave school.

2) Statistical analysis of the data:

i) The results of the module should help to provide relevant material concerning the clarification of the notion of the "drop-out" as embodied in the Employment Guidelines.

ii) The module is also likely to propose new elements aiming at appreciating what a successful transition can be (time to get a first job after end of studies, analysis of current labour market situation by education received)


URL: http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/leonardo/old/leonardoold/stat/training statis/secondphase/area2_en.html
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Employment Surveys; European Union Countries; Young People; Unemployment; School-to-work Transition; Education Policies; Training Policies; Employment Policies; Cost-effectiveness.

EUROSTAT. (2001). Report of the European task force on measuring lifelong learning. Luxembourg: Statistical office of the European communities.


The Final Report of the Task Force includes a methodological discussion on lifelong learning combining almost all available information at an international level. Experience at the national level has also been taken into account through the participation of national experts in the Task Force. Different proposals were made to improve existing ESS sources and to develop new sources. This report demonstrates that today more information is needed on the way people of all ages learn in formal and non-formal settings but also through informal activities like self-learning. Skills may be acquired in several ways and it is essential to monitor the acquisition, upgrading and renewal of skills - as well as skill erosion. We need to be able to assess the societal outcomes of learning (e.g. citizenship-related outcomes, environment, consumer protection) as well as employment-related and personal outcomes in a wider sense (e.g. basic skills, employability, quality of life, economic well-being, physical and mental health, satisfaction). Notions like motivations, expectations and satisfaction are essential for lifelong learning, while personal investment in time and money is a major issue in the debate. The role and involvement of the different actors of learning provision (educational institutions, enterprises, NGOs, professional bodies, regional and local authorities, state and of course individuals) also need to be clarified.
URL: http://www.lebenslangeslernen.at/downloads/EU_MeasuringOnLLL_0201.pdf
KEY WORDS: Education Surveys; European Union; Public Opinion; Adult Education; Open Learning; Continuing Education; Vocational Qualifications; Occupational Training; Vocational Education.

EUROSTAT. (2003). The European Union labour force survey. Luxembourg: EUROSTAT European Commission.


The main statistical objectives of the Labour Force Survey is to divide the population of working age people (15 years and above) into three mutually exclusive and exhaustive groups - persons in employment, unemployed persons and inactive persons - and to provide descriptive and explanatory data on each of these categories. Respondents are assigned to one of these groups on the basis of the most objective information possible obtained through the survey questionnaire, which principally relates to their actual activity within a particular reference week.

The concepts and definitions used in the survey are based on those contained in the Recommendation of the 13th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, convened in 1982 by the International Labour Organisation (hereafter referred as the 'ILO guidelines'). To further improve comparability within the EU, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1897/2000 gives a more precise definition of unemployment. This definition remains fully compatible with the International Labour Organisation standards. This survey in 2003 includes data collection in an ad hoc module on lifelong learning.


URL: http://forum.europa.eu.int/irc/dsis/employment/info/data/eu_lfs/F_LFS_CONCEPTS.htm
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys; Social Surveys; Economic Surveys; European Union; Labor Supply; Vocational Education; Politics and Government; Manpower; Statistics; Methodology.

EUROSTAT. (2003). Labour force survey database: User guide. Luxembourg: EUROSTAT European Commission.


The User guide provides an overview of the variables available in the LFS data sets and, details on their codification The variable list is divided in three categories: Core variables (as transmitted by the National Statistical Institutes to Eurostat according to the last Commission regulation), Primary derived variables (computed by Eurostat on the basis of the core variables), Secondary derived variables (computed by Eurostat to make the analyses easier across time due to codification changes).
URL: http://forum.europa.eu.int/Public/irc/dsis/edtcs/library?l=/public/ education_labour /lfs_2003_ahm_lll
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys; Social Surveys; Economic Surveys; European Union; Labor Supply; Vocational Education; Politics and Government; Manpower; Statistics; Methodology.

Chisholm, L., Larson, A., & Mossoux, A.-F. (2004). Lifelong learning: Citizens' views in close-up. Findings from a dedicated Eurobarometer survey. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.


This report presents detailed findings of the 2003 Lifelong Learning Eurobarometer, which covers 15 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. It focuses on European citizens' attitudes to and participation in adult learning of all kinds, paying special attention to learning related to work, employment and career but setting this family in an integrated approach to education and training throughout life. This is the first time that comparative information on lifelong learning from citizens' own standpoint has become available, which makes the data a base reference point for the future studies and analyses. The report focuses on three themes: skills for a knowledge society; the diversity of learning contexts; and the participation in, and motivation for, learning. It also highlights information on a number of topical policy issues: citizens' opinions on lifelong learning and their willingness to contribute to its financing; guidance and counseling; mobility as a learning tool; foreign languages and IT. The material and analysis in this report therefore enriches the basis for evidence-based policymaking and the effective implementation of lifelong learning in Europe.
URL: http://www2.trainingvillage.gr/etv/publication/download/panorama/4038_en.pdf
KEY WORDS: Continuing Education; Europe; Public Opinion; Lifelong Learning; Adult Education.

European Communities. (2005). Task force report on adult education survey. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.


Adult education is recognized today as an essential enabler of economic growth and social development within the rapidly evolving knowledge-based society and economy of the European Union. This is particularly so in the context of an ageing labour force and the internationalization of activities. Adult learning is one of the key components of the Lisbon strategy. It is a major factor for the improvement of human capital of citizens after leaving initial education and is therefore a key element of both Employment, and Education and Training policies. Consequently, the EU requires the collection of broader and higher quality statistical data on adult learning, in order to inform policy making, policy monitoring and benchmarking activities at the international and European level. Recent reviews of available data at the national level carried out for Eurostat, confirm that national initiatives, where they exist, are not at this time harmonized at the EU level. Eurostat undertook in 2000, in parallel to the Lisbon Strategy issued by the Council, to operationalise the concepts needed to achieve a harmonization of statistics on lifelong learning. Two task forces (the task force on measuring lifelong learning (2000-2001), later succeeded by the task force on the Adult Education Survey (2002-2004)) were created with the active involvement of EU countries, as well as non-EU countries (Switzerland, Canada) and international organizations (OECD, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, International Labour Office) having experience and interest in the field. The present report is the final contribution of the second task force, whose objectives were to explore the feasibility and the requirements for launching an EU Adult Education Survey. This report has been presented and endorsed by the group of Directors of Social Statistics in September 2004. On this occasion, a large majority of EU member states were in favour of launching a first adult education survey in 2005-2007.
KEY WORDS: Continuing Education; Europe; Public Opinion; Lifelong Learning; Adult Education.

European working conditions surveys.


Paoli, P. (1992). First European Survey on the work environment 1991-1992. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.
The survey presented here was carried out in 1991. It was based on direct interviews with 12,500 workers, both employees and the self-employed, throughout the 12 member states of the European Community. The sample is representative of the distribution of the labour force between sectors, males and females, age groups and by professional status. As social integration moves forward, and as the number of initiatives dealing with the work environment at the Community level increase, more comprehensive and homogeneous data on working conditions in the Community is required. The present survey is a step in this direction.
URL: http://www.eurofound.eu.int/pubdocs/1992/11/en/1/ef9211en.pdf
KEY WORDS: Working Conditions; Work Environment; Europe; Labor Laws and Legislation; Employees; European Union Countries; Women; Employment; Quality of Work Life; Survey.

Paoli, P. (1997). Second European Survey on Working Conditions in the European Union. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.


The second European survey on working conditions took place in January 1996 and collated the views of the 15,800 workers from all over Europe. Its findings highlight how pollution, noise, stress and musculo-skeletal disorders are among the rising occupational hazards in the EU. The survey underlines a need for a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach to tackle health and safety issues in Europe. Above all it clearly indicates that health issues must be central to the organization's structure and development.
URL: http://www.eurofound.eu.int/pubdocs/1997/26/en/1/ef9726en.pdf
KEY WORDS: Working Conditions; Work Environment; Europe; Labor Laws and Legislation; Employees; European Union Countries; Women; Employment; Quality of Work Life; Survey.

Paoli, P., & MerlliƩ, D. (2001). Third European survey on working conditions 2000. European foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions. Dublin, Ireland: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.


This report presents the main findings of the Third European survey on working conditions. The survey was carried out simultaneously in each of the 15 Member States of the European Union in March 2000. The previous surveys were carried out in 1990/91 and in 1995/96. Hence it is now possible to establish time series (at least for those variables which have remained the same) and the report highlights these time series wherever possible. These surveys aim to provide an overview of the state of working conditions in the European Union, as well as indicating the nature and content of changes affecting the workforce and the quality of work. Since they are of a general nature, obviously they cannot address all the issues in detail. However, they do indicate the need for more detailed research, including qualitative research, on specific issues.

This report is limited to a straightforward presentation of the results. It is planned to carry out more detailed statistical analysis at a later stage and to produce separate reports on specific areas. Some of the issues which will be analyzed in more detail are: gender and work; age and work; employment status; sector profiles; work organization and working conditions; time.


URL: http://www.eurofound.ie/publications/files/EF0121EN.pdf
KEY WORDS: Employment Surveys; European Union Countries; Work Environment; Quality of Work Life; Health.
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. (2002). Access to employment for vulnerable groups. Luxembourg: Office for official publications of the European Communities.
Over the last decade, the Foundation has looked extensively at measures for the social and economic integration of vulnerable groups. Research (documented in references throughout this paper), mainly through local case studies, has examined experiences in employment and active labour market measures across the European Union. The studies have focused on different groups - people with disabilities, older workers, minimum income recipients, people from ethnic minorities, long-term unemployed, adults with mental illness, and family careers - each with their particular problems and employment prospects, but, of course, often overlapping categories. Moreover, the same basic strategies to improve access to employment are often common to the different groups. This paper presents findings from the Foundation's studies in order to address some of the challenges of employment insertion strategies and to highlight some of the issues for future policy and practice.
URL: http://www.eurofound.ie/publications/files/EF0244EN.pdf
KEY WORDS: Social Surveys; European Union; Social Policy; Manpower Policy; Discrimination in Employment; Labor supply; Social Marginality.

Paoli, P., & Parent-Thirion, A. (2003). Working conditions in the acceding and candidate countries. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.


The Foundation carried out its Third European Working Conditions Survey in the 15 Member States of the European Union (EU) in 2000. In 2001, the survey was extended to cover the 12 acceding and candidate countries and the following year the survey included Turkey. Working conditions in the acceding and candidate countries provides the first important benchmark of the situation in all 13 countries. Gauging the status on issues ranging from stress in the workplace to types of employment or working hours, the report attempts to portray a realistic picture of the working environment of these countries as they take this critical step towards an enlarged Europe. An information sheet (EF0375) and a summary (EF0396) on this topic are also available.
URL: http://www.eurofound.eu.int/pubdocs/2003/06/en/1/ef0306en.pdf

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