Adult Learning and Literacy Research Group ALCR: Adult Literacy and Communication Research Group

 

Postgraduate Students

Niki McCartney

Niki McCartney

Niki's Masters thesis explored the outcomes of workplace literacy programmes and their impact in the workplace, with reference to reported effects by the participants in these programmes, along with what managers in the companies involved considered to be the outcomes. The methodology involved interviewing literacy programme participants and management representatives from five New Zealand companies which have experimented with workplace literacy programmes. The research suggested that these workplace literacy programmes have been enhancing participants' self-confidence and communication ability, with flow-on gains in various ways for workplace efficiency and effectiveness.


Gretta Mills

Gretta Mills

Gretta's Masters research targeted three specific elements within the Tertiary Education Strategy (2002-07) to assess their impact on the Rangitikei, 2004-2005. Her study addressed a perceived need for impact research from a ‘bottom up’ District Council level to complement the ‘top down’ nationally and regionally focused Tertiary Education Strategy.

Three key objectives focused the research:
(1) examine foundation and industry skills provision in the Rangitikei and determined the extent of their contribution to the achievement of Maori development aspirations;
(2) evaluate how effectively adult foundation education programmes in the Rangitikei secured employment outcomes and enabled community development;
(3) examine industry training programmes in the Rangitikei and determined the extent of their contribution to developing the generic and specialist skills New Zealanders need for our knowledge society.


Fiona Shearer

Fiona Shearer

Fiona completed her Honours degree in Scotland in Communications and Media in 2000. Since then she has worked in a variety of positions, most of which have been within public relations for the not-for-profit sector in New Zealand. Fiona’s Doctoral research is an analysis of publicity around adult literacy training programmes. Her thesis is using discourse analysis as a tool for looking at communications used to recruit people onto adult literacy training. Fiona’s research also includes interviews with participants in adult literacy training, with a view to discovering what encouraged them to participate in such programmes.


Murray-Niki.jpg

Niki Murray

Niki's Doctoral thesis explored the coping strategies and/or adaptive behaviours that adult learners in vocational courses used in order to cope or adapt to their learning, and cope with life stresses that may impact on persistence in that course. The study included people from across the literacy continuum, to allow for comparisons of coping strategies for learning and persistence across literacy level. Through use of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, Niki employed a correlational analysis approach to determine the individual and environmental motivators behind these coping strategies or adaptive behaviours. Further, through use of follow-up interviews after the course finished, the study explored which coping styles and/or adaptive behaviours had the most predictive power for later employment enhancement or employment gain. The intended outcomes from the study included: a better understanding of the motivators behind learning and persistence behaviours of adult learners; a systematic understanding of the coping styles and behaviours that those with low literacy and high literacy generally engage in within a learning environment; recommendations for individuals and training organisations as to how to recognise and address certain 'deconstructive' ways of coping, as well as enhance 'constructive' ways of coping; and to provide further understanding on how different ways of coping and adapting can relate to employment opportunities.


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