Special Programs are short-term projects which the AALRC participates in with Adult Education programs, Literacy Councils and grant-related funding sources. The funding for these projects comes from a variety of sources which are outside the normal AALRC budgeted programs.
Often, the AALRC directs and participates in programs for adult education and literacy during the pilot phase of new developments. This effort provides staffing, materials and facilities during the experimental phase of a project and prior to receiving funding and/or resources from other areas outside the AALRC.
Grants are of particular interest to the AALRC, and we encourage adult education and literacy providers to include the Resource Center in the developmental stage of grant writing. The current Numeracy project is an exemplary example of one such grant that has been awarded.
Standards In Action
Arkansas was chosen to participate in the Standards-In-Action Innovations. ESL Curriculum Guidelines will be used in this project. Two state staff and two local program instructors were chosen to attend the meetings in Washington, D.C. over the two years. Vickie Johnson, Northwest AR Community College and Beth Cooper, Fort Smith Adult Education Center, were the practitioners chosen to attend the meeting. The four participants will attend national meetings and webinars for this project. The group will also meet with local practitioners from the programs to continue our work in the state. At the end of the project we will begin training the rest of the state in the innovations.
The Standards-In-Action (SIA) innovations are professional development methods and materials that support the implementation of content standards in adult education programs. The SIA innovations, developed with guidance from adult educators around the country, address four priority areas of standards-based reform:
- Building instructors' understanding of the standards taught;
- Translating the standards into curriculum;
- Aligning student assignments to standards; and
- Assessing the extent to which instructors are teaching to the standards and using effective instruction.
Adult Numeracy Instruction Professional Development
(ANI-PD) Field Test Program
The AALRC has been chosen to participate in the Adult Numeracy Instruction Professional Development (ANI-PD) Field Test Program. This is a national initiative involving 10 local programs with 2 instructors and the local administrator from each program.
Benefits of State Participation
Participating states will strengthen their capacity for high-quality math instruction in adult education by:
- Developing a cadre of twenty (20) instructors and ten (10) administrators with ANI-PD experience to serve as instructional leaders regionally and statewide.
- Providing instructors with sample math lessons based on the latest research in math learning.
- Working with ANI-PD staff to integrate this model into state professional development plans for math and other adult education initiatives.
- Joining a national effort to support state implementation of high-quality math instruction in adult education.
ANI-PD Field-test Activities
This year-long intensive professional development program includes:
- Three (3) two (2)-day Institutes for twenty (20) instructors per state, with program administrators participating in two Institutes.
- Classroom implementation and documentation.
- Regional meetings and background reading between Institutes.
Outcomes of the ANI-PD Field-test Model
Expected outcomes of the ANI-PD model for instructors include broader and deeper mathematical knowledge, a better understanding of how adults learn math, and more effective math instruction.
Focusing on essential math content areas, including numbers, geometry, data, and algebra, instructors will:
- Deepen their math content knowledge.
- Learn how understanding develops within and across content areas.
- Address all five attributes of math proficiency (conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition).
- Relate math content to the various contexts in which adults play a role or aspire to (e.g., further education-general education development (GED) or postsecondary -workplace, community, or family).
Instructors will practice new teaching strategies to help students build math proficiency. These will:
- Build students' repertoire of representations for understanding and communicating math content (symbols, diagrams, graphs, and words) and make connections among these representations.
- Support the development of problem-solving, communication, and reasoning skills and make connections within mathematics and across
- Enable instructors to conduct formativeassessments to guide instruction and differentiate instruction across student levels and backgrounds.