Colouring inside the lines

After slashing funding to literacy organizations and chastising the field for not being prepared for the cuts and for way it has frittered away taxpayer dollars on "countless" research papers, the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) has put out a Call for Concepts for Innovative Training models. As Brigid Hayes points out, it is the first call in two years.

In her most recent post Brigid documents how difficult it is to assess proposals for innovation when the field has very little information about what projects have been funded and the outcomes of those projects. OLES has not done a very good job of posting details and outcomes of the projects they fund.

In any case, as the first of the "innovative" training models involves replicating proven programs in a new place or for new people and the second is about integrating Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) into existing programs, it is only the third option that would allow for any innovation at all and as that model is tied to labour market outcomes rather than educational ones, it is a fairly boxed-in innovation.
Concept Papers must fall under one of the following Innovative Training Models:
  • Expansion of a proven LES model: this would include models that have been successfully applied within Canada or outside of Canada that could be replicated in a different region or with a different target audience and/or increased in scale;
  • Integration of LES into other programs: application of LES into an existing employment and/or training program; or
  • New LES model: development and testing of new approaches with the potential to improve labour market outcomes for Canadians.
Always with the labour market outcomes. Long gone is the idea that literacy is about culture, self-directed learning and community development.

I don't have much more to say. The main point of this post is to tell you to follow Brigid on this issue just in case you missed her blog.