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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of the development of a literacy and life skills curriculum for native adults Mogan, Susan Barbara


The purpose of this study was to analyse the development of the Native Literacy and Life Skills Curriculum Guidelines from two perspectives: a planning perspective and a teaching and learning perspective. This study was undertaken to contribute to the literature on program development for Native adults. Further, the intent was to draw attention to the fact that according to 1981 census data, 34.5% of Canadian Native adults are considered functionally illiterate. The field research approach was used to analyse the development of the Guidelines. This approach was appropriate because research in the area of Native programming is at an exploratory stage where few, if any, theories or hypotheses could be tested using quantitative approaches. Field research is well suited to exploratory projects. Two methods were used to collect data, interviews and document analysis. Jarvis' curriculum planning model for the education of adults was used to collect and analyse interview and document data. Data analysis involved sorting information from interviews and documents according to a chronological sequence of events that occurred in the curriculum development project. The interview and document data were categorized into the 10 factors outlined in Jarvis' model. Conclusions were drawn regarding the outcomes of the project, the curriculum development process and the data collection process. Conclusions from the Native Literacy and Life Skills Curriculum Guidelines project had direct implications for curriculum developers, policy makers and researchers. It was found that a communication network is necessary in curriculum planning, that financing is a critical issue in the development process and that a curriculum planning model is a helpful tool for developing a curriculum. This research highlights the need for a policy that includes the provision for the development and implementation of a series of programs to upgrade the education levels of Native adults. These programs must also provide Native adults with career opportunities to enable them to fully participate in today's society.

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