|Action Research Report on «Reflect» - Education Research Paper No.17 (DFID, 1996, 96 p.)|
|2. Theoretical roots of the new method: reflect|
The one almost universal feature of adult literacy programmes world-wide is a "primer" in one shape or another (and most primers have very similar shapes and forms). Even radical literacy programmes often depend on a primer. If most literacy programmes have failed then perhaps abolishing the primer may be one of the keys to success.
Adult literacy primers are like basic textbooks. Most of them have 20 or 30 lessons and each lesson starts with a picture which is supposedly based on the local reality of the learners - addressing social and economic issues. The learners are supposed to discuss these pictures and then a key word (or phrase) is given to them that relates to the picture. That word is then often broken down into syllables and the learners practice writing them and make new words. There are some variations but this is the standard model.
Most people who design these primers claim they are using the so called "psycho social" method of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. They call their pictures "codifications" and the key words "generative words". They claim that there is discussion or dialogue in their literacy classes based on these pictures and that the learners go through a process of "conscientization" or awareness raising.