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close this bookAPPEAL - Training Materials for Continuing Education Personnel (ATLP-CE) - Volume 2: Post-Literacy Programmes (APEID - UNESCO, 1993, 112 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the documentChapter 1: Post-Literacy - Principles and Rationale
View the documentChapter 2: Post-Literacy as Part of Continuing Education
View the documentChapter 3: Curriculum Framework
View the documentChapter 4: Design and Development of Materials
View the documentChapter 5: Validation - A Case Study of Post-Literacy Curriculum Development
View the documentChapter 6: An Infrastructure for Post-Literacy
View the documentChapter 7: Implementation and Delivery
View the documentChapter 8: Training of Personnel for Post-Literacy
View the documentChapter 9: Evaluation and Feedback
View the documentAnnex: List of Participants
View the documentBack Cover

Chapter 5: Validation - A Case Study of Post-Literacy Curriculum Development


As described in the introduction, a preliminary draft of this volume was prepared by a Technical Working Group, meeting in Jomtien, Thailand, 14-24 August 1991. The draft was printed as a limited edition for try-out and possible revision.

As a result of appropriate planning by UNESCO PROAP an opportunity became available almost immediately for a rigorous testing of the approach advocated in the first draft. The UNESCO PROAP Sixth Sub-Regional Workshop for Training of Literacy and Continuing Education Personnel was scheduled for 28 August to 12 September 1991 in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the preliminary draft of this volume could thus be made available to that workshop as a resource and for possible try-out.

The special significance of the workshop for such a try-out was that it catered for three Member States which have attained high level adult literacy, namely DPR Korea, DPR Mongolia and Russia. These three countries were therefore especially interested in the strengthening of their post-literacy programmes. The fourth Member State involved in the workshop, namely People’s Republic of China, is rapidly improving its levels of basic literacy, in part as a result of following the ATLP approach, and is now also concerned to foster post-literacy programmes.

In particular DPR Korea has well-developed post-literacy programmes which, he the main, are directly linked to the world of work. These programmes are frequently provided by employing agencies such as factories and cooperative farms and involve the development of both work skills and general education. Since, in DPR Korea, there are ten years of compulsory schooling for all, post-literacy programmes in that country assume an initial educational standard equivalent to that attained after successful completion of school year ten.

The Sixth Sub-Regional Workshop, therefore provided, a unique situation to test whether or not the curriculum approach suggested in the Jomtien draft was practicable and appropriate for Member States already making significant contributions in the area of post-literacy as a type of continuing education. If such Member States could apply the approaches advocated, and if they considered that the approaches could assist in strengthening their present activities in post-literacy, then the basic ideas of the draft proposals would be validated.

This situation was explained to the participants of the Sixth Sub-Regional Workshop who were invited to design a curriculum and some learning resources based on the Jomtien approach. The invitation was accepted by the participants who perceived that they could not only become aware of a new initiative by UNESCO PROAP under APPEAL, but that they could also contribute to the development of a new way of designing and presenting post-literacy programmes.


The following aspects of the approach advocated were tested.

a) whether or not the overall systems approach which had proved effective for ATLP Basic Literacy was also effective for post-literacy.

b) whether or not the New Participatory (NP) Method for Needs Analysis is appropriate for Post-Literacy Programmes.

c) whether or not a curriculum framework, and especially a curriculum grid, of the type suggested in Chapter Three of this volume, was suitable as an exemplar planner for post-literacy programmes.

d) whether or not competency levels could be adequately defined for post-literacy.

e) If competency levels could be defined, would it be appropriate to provide standards in terms of advanced reading, writing numeracy and general mental skill?

f) If the categories of standards are found to be suitable, are the types of general mental skill proposed appropriate for post-literacy, especially post-literacy following on from ten years of compulsory schooling? The general mental skills are:

Vocabulary building
Building general knowledge and establishing mental schemes
Critical reasoning

g) Should post-literacy programmes have a strong work orientation as well as developing general education?

h) Is the idea of post-literacy as a programme aiming to develop autonomy in learning a valid concept? Are the characteristics of an autonomous leaner as proposed, appropriate? And is the idea of aiming for the development of an autonomous personality valid and appropriate?

i) Can the systems model, expressed in INPUT-PROCESS-OUTPUT learning steps be successfully applied in the development of post-literacy materials?

j) And finally, are the approaches to the design of activity-oriented materials as advocated for basic literacy under ATLP also appropriate for post-literacy materials?


Two groups of participants were formed, each representative of the participating Member States. Each group was invited to design a post-literacy curriculum and to design and develop sample learning materials for the curriculum. The product was to be a semi-simulation but was to be based on the actual experience of participants. The idea was to cater for an hypothetical situation but one which closely coorelated with actual practice in one or more countries represented by the group.

Each group then undertook the following tasks.

a) Definition of the target group.

b) Description of the characteristics of the target group.

c) Identification of likely general socio-economic and educational problem faced by the target group.

d) Preparation of a short open-ended questionnaire to use during visits to institutions near Pyongyang offering post-literacy activities as programmes.

e) Application of a simulated version of the New Participatory (NP) method of needs analysis aiming to produce a clear statement of the educational needs of the target group.

f) Identification of the method of delivery of the proposed curriculum for post-literacy.

g) Formulation of aims and general objectives for the curriculum.

h) Identification of the broad categories of content for the curriculum.

i) Identification of levels of competency in advanced reading, writing, numeracy, practical technical skill and general mental skills.

j) Layout of a curriculum grid showing content headings on one axis and competency levels on the other. This also involved the identification of topic areas to be covered in each cell of the grid.

k) Identification of the topic the format and the competency emphasis of the materials required for selected cells. (In fact because of time constraints only two cells were chosen for this).

l) The development of specifications for the teacher’s guide and learners resource for one item only for one cell. In actual fact a workbook format following the I-P-O model was chosen as appropriate for post-literacy.

m) The development of one unit of work for the selected resource.

Part of the work of one group is reproduced below (Section D). It shows the products which emerged for steps (a) to (k) but in the interests of space does not include steps (l) and (m).


The products of the workshop were very satisfactory. The participants had no problem understanding the guidelines provided in the preliminary draft of this volume or in related materials such as the ATLP volumes and the first volume in the ATLP-CE series. There were, however, as was to be expected, several modifications to the exemplar approach to meet the needs of the group. This was very encouraging as it showed that the exemplar could function, as was intended, as a flexible planner.

Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
28 August to 12 September 1991

The letters (a) to (k) for each step correspond to the leters (a) to (K) in the list of procedures in section C above.

I. Target Group (a)

Rural Women in a small town or village who are functionally illiterate (i.e. who have no useful work skills and have problems in day-to-day living e.g. shopping, family matters, etc.).

II. General Characteristics of Target Group (b)

· Age: 20-50
· Married with 3 children on average, but some single parents
· Work on co-operative farms
· Live in a small house.
· Have adequate food and balanced diet
· Average education: 10 years schooling
· Will have pension after 20 years of work
· Get money from state when ill
· Belong to Trade Union

III. General Problems (c)

1. Inadequate time away from work after child birth.
2. Lack of time to look after family.
3. Single parents with special problems of child care.
4. Hard physical labour without help of machines.
5. Lack of cultural opportunities (e.g. entertainment).
6. Problem of damage to natural environment.
7. Lack of motivation to continue to learn.

IV. Questions for Field-Visit, Friday, 30 August 1991 (d)

How could the institution we are visiting help these people?

1. Do you have materials which would help women workers on cooperative farms by:

i) Increasing use of simple machines to help work?
ii) Can you give them advice on reducing damage to the environement?
iii) Can you help them on child care?
iv) How can they help reduce rate of illness?

2. Do you have programmes for these types of people? Describe.
3. Can you send materials to these people?

V. Application of NP(New Participatory) Method (e)

a) Specific Problems Identified in Order of Priority


Numbers of Statements

1. Family problems


2. Educational problems


3. Difficult working conditions


4. Lack of information


5. Housing problems


6. Ecological problems


7. Lack of transport


8 Health problems


9. Cultural problems


10. Poor nutrition


11. Lack of State support


12. Shopping difficulties


13. Lack of facilities and motivation for self-learning


b) Needs Arising from the Problems

Note: Not all the identified needs can be met by a continuing education curriculum - e.g. structural problems such as establishment of learning centres and libraries. Only those needs which could be satisfied through an educational programme have been highlighted.

Family Issues

Need for: -

· programmes on family planning:
· programmes on being an effective single parent;
· programmes on child care.

Educational Provision

Need for: -

· helping adults accept responsibility for continuing education and life-long learning.

Working Conditions

Need for: -

· education on the use of farming machinery;
· safety education;
· education about human and civic rights, and rights and responsibilities within Trade Unions.

Lack of Information Sources

Need for: -

· helping adults make effective use of video-cassette, materials and broadcast T.V. and radio;
· showing people how to mobilize local resources for community interaction;
· involving adults in an effective correspondence education system using postal and telephone services.

Housing Issues

Need for: -

· helping adults in communicating with authorities with the aim of improving housing standards;

· educational programmes on self-help approaches to improving the standards and appearance of their homes.

Ecological Problems

Need for: -

environmental education (about degradation of the natural environment, deforestation, pollution, etc. etc.).

Transport Issues

Need for: -

· programmes to show people how to make optimal use of available transport;
· driver education (car, cycle, motor cycle, etc.).

Health Problems

Need for: -

· education on hygiene and sanitation;
· education on the effective use of clinics and hospitals, especially in areas such as nutrition, child care and use of clean water.

Cultural Issues

Need for: -

· educational programmes about music, fine art, national history, literature, and cultural traditions.

Nutritional Problems

Need for: -

· nutrition education.

Strengthening State Support

Need for: -

· education oil the socio-political system, and social activity and responsibility (civics education).

Shopping problems

Need for: -

· education on family budgeting;
· consumer education.

The Issue of Self-Learning

Need for: -

· programmes to increase awareness of the importance of education and self-learning;
· programmes on «how to team».

VI. The methods of delivery (f)

- correspondence and self-learning methods together with residential workshops.

VII. Aims and Objectives of the Programme (g)

A. Aims

The aims of this programme are to develop:

- knowledge of hygiene, health, and nutrition;
- adequate level of scientific and technical working skills;
- kills of day-to-day life, including family planning;
- Knowledge of ecological issues;
- Understanding of significance of state support;
- Positive attitude to self-learning.

B. Objectives

After the conclusion of this programme the learners will be able to:

1. launch local programmes on the basics of hygiene, health, and nutrition;

2. increase productivity by using modern farming machinery and methods;

3. live harmoniously and effectively within the local community;

4. plan and implement a programme for protection of the local environment:

5. use their rights to communicate effectively with government authorities for state support to meet local needs.

6. voluntarily participate in continuing education.

VIII. Contents of Programme (h)

Contents of programme are:

1. Health and Nutrition
2. Work-skills
3. Living skills
4. Ecology
5. Civic rights and responsibility
6. self-learning methods

IX. Level of Competency (i)

Two levels are defined based on completion of 10 years of schooling. The first level stresses family issues and the second level focuses on community concerns.

Level I

Level II


· Well-illustrated texts up to pp. 50 with simple expression and language and clear structure

· Practically-oriented texts of more than 50 pages with specialized terminology


· Personal/official letters

· Plan of action

· Summaries/reviews

· Notes for speech and verbal report

· diary

· Detailed written report

· short report

· Essay (with complex ideas and special language)


· Use of calculators and mathematical tables

· Extended use of calculators and basics of computers

· Interpretation of farm statistics

· Quantitative aspects of farm management

Practical/technical skills

· Use of simple farming and household machines

· Use and maintenance of household and farm machines

General Mental skills

1. Vocabulary Building

· Good knowledge and use of day-to-day basics, in newspapers, state directories and popular magazines.

· Adequate use of specific technical vocabulary relating to farming

2. Building General knowledge

· Willingness to read a wide range of literature on various issues

· Read and research topics of personal interest

3. Establishing mental schemes

· Use of past experiences to plan appropriate acts on day-to-day matters (family farming, etc.)

· Systematic approach to analysis and synthesis of available specific farming knowledge

4. Critical reasoning

· Distinguish between facts and opinions.

· Critical approach to a set of facts and opinions.

5. Problem solving

· Use of available resources to solve personal community/social problems.

· Evaluation of alternative solutions to technical problems of farming and other complex problems

X. Curriculum Grid (j)


Level I

Level II




Health and nutrition in family


Health and nutrition in community




Semi-skilled working operations, using low-level of mechanization


Fully-skilled working operations, using high level of mechanization




Family issues


Community issues




Ecological issues in farming, (also livestock breeding)


Ecological issues in general; preservation of nature




Family issues


Community issues




Using home-resources


Using community resources

XI. The Materials for each Cell (k)

The teaching sequence is more flexible than for a basic literacy programme. The cells of any one level of competency can be studied in any order. But learners should not proceed to the next level until all the competencies defined for given level have been attained.

Within each cell a variety of materials should be provided to cater for different interests and needs. These should also have a variety of emphasis in terms of reading, writing, numeracy, practical skill and general mental skills. They should include a variety of media suitable for the chosen method of delivery. The should also cater for nation-wide, regional and local concerns.

The specifications for materials for three representative cells are given below.

Title and No. of cell

Title/Topic of materials resources


Competency emphasis

1b Semi-skilled working operations, using low level of mechanization.

1) Weeding

- Training manual describing practical activities.

- Read and analyze about weeding techniques
- Evaluate and assess the weeding needs on the farm and work out a plan to eradicate weeds

2) Ploughing

- Training manual
- Demonstration during residential workshop.

- Read and understand about ploughing techniques.
- Analyze soil quality.

3) Manufacture of manure

- Training manual
- Television broadcasting

- Read and understand instructions and know-how
- Compare and analyze tables
- Use machines.

2b Fully skilled working operations, using high level of mechanization

- Wool-cutting (shearing)

- Special training manuals

- Read and analyze special literature on technology.
- Evaluate quality of wool
- Write report on evaluation study including quantitative aspects

- Tractor-driving

- Specialized training manual illustrated with cartoons.

- Read and understand manuals with special technical terminology
- Write reports on effective use of tractors.
- Practical skills to maintain and repair tractors.

1c Ecological issues in farming

- Vaccination in livestock breeding

- Demonstration lectures
- Television and radio broadcasting
- Reference manuals

- Read special literatures on livestock breeding.
- Practical skills for rational use of pasture
- Problem-solving of first-aid for domestic animals.


The evaluation of the workshop by the participants was very positive. There was full acceptance of the approach advocated and in particular the guidelines provided for curriculum design and materials development were validated.

Outcomes in response to each of the issues raised in Section B of this Chapter are summarized in the following table 5.1.

Table 5.1: Outcomes of the Try-out

Issue (see Section B this Chapter)


a. Effectiveness of overall systems approach

a. This was enthusiastically accepted by participants who appreciated the need to have a systematic framework for post-literacy programmes which in the past have been somewhat ad hoc.

b. Appropriateness of the NP method of needs analysis

b. While this was undertaken by a simulated approach the outcome was very thorough and demonstrated the usefulness of the method in assembling and assessing field data.

c. The idea of a curriculum grid showing broad content on one axis and competency levels on the other.

c. This was very much appreciated by all participants who saw its value as an exemplar planner. It was considered that this approach was particularly appropriate for post-literacy because developing content at specified level of competency has not usually been a feature of design.

d. Definition of competency levels

d. It was found that it was possible to determine the numbers of levels and their broad characteristics provided the target group was known and the objectives of the post-literacy curriculum under consideration. The group determined the need for two levels of competency.

e. Determination of standards for the levels of competency

e. Once the general parameters of the curriculum grid had been clearly established participants found little difficulty in determining standards or in finding indicators for the standards.

f. Suitability of categories of mental skills

f. This aspect of the approach was especially welcomed and all participants agreed that this element has not been adequately addressed by previous post-literacy programmes but should be a key factor. It was agreed that the categories of mental skill were directly on target for post-literacy.

g. Validity of work orientation

g. It was fully recognized that the most successful post-literacy programmes focus on work experience and the improvement of work skills. All participants accepted, however, that a work-related emphasis was not sufficient and should be supported by recreational and/or general educational elements. Visits to farms and factories near Pyongyang with their own post-literacy programmes demonstrated this idea in practice.

h. Are the ideas of autonomous learning and autonomous personality relevant for post-literacy?

h. Because these are longer-term outcomes they could not be validated in practice during the Pyongyang workshop but participants strongly endorsed the concept of a learning society and considered that autonomous learning was a necessary pre-condition for that. The idea of an autonomous personality was seen to be more complex but it was generally agreed that the development of such a personality should be a long-term goal for programmes of post-literacy.

i. Relevance of the I-P-O approach for post-literacy materials

i. Participants recognized that in post-literacy work there should be a wide range of materials in different formats for each cell of the curriculum. It was agreed to test the IPO approach for the development of an activity-oriented workbook within the context of job-related skill. The participants had no difficulty in applying the IPO idea in mapping out the structure of the workbook and the accompanying teachers’ guide or in developing learning activities. It was agreed however that the IPO approach may not be appropriate for all types of post-literacy materials especially recreational materials such as fiction.

j. Relevance of an activity orientation

J. This was strongly endorsed by participants, they recognized that since post-literacy programmes are mainly concerned with development of advanced level skills in reading, writing, numeracy, mental tasks and work-related procedures, they would have to be activity-based in order that participants could practice the relevant skills.


Since the concepts and procedures proposed in the first draft of this volume were relatively new and untried in the area of post-literacy it was especially important to undertake some preliminary validation as early as possible. The scheduling of the Pyongyang Workshop to immediately follow the Jomtien Meeting was thus very significant. The validation could not have been undertaken however without the willing cooperation of the workshop hosts of the UNESCO National Commission for DRP Korea and of the workshop participants. UNESCO PROAP is most grateful for that cooperation.

The outcomes of the try-out gave a strong indication that the theories and approaches advocated were appropriate and practicable. As in the case of ATLP, the exemplars presented were seen to be planning devices providing a general overall framework but allowing Member States to develop details of their post-literacy programmes in ways seen to be appropriate for their needs and circumstances. They were strongly endorsed by all participants.