NALD is an online repository containing everything you need to support a workplace education program. Its resources include program models, learning and research materials, news about what is happening in the field, event listings, contact information and helpful websites.
Feature of the Month puts the spotlight on a document, an organization, a program or a website.
NALD’s feature this month shines the spotlight on a comprehensive, interactive Timeline of Literacy and Essential Skills from Essential Skills Ontario.
It’s helpful to take a trip back in time on occasion in order to gain an appreciation for the past and a clearer perspective of what’s to come.
Essential Skills Ontario has prepared a unique Timeline of Literacy and Essential Skills which we like for this very reason. The presentation makes you think about how far we’ve come in this field and also how much work is left to be done to help Canadians reach their full potential.
“Throughout its long history, the literacy and essential skills field has continually evolved and adapted in response to the changing needs of adults,” the introductory words say. “This timeline captures some of the important people, events, initiatives and other influences that have helped shape the literacy and essential skills field in Canada over the past 200 years.”
First Common School Act in Upper Canada allows adults to attend public schools to learn reading, writing and arithmetic.
Private night schools for adults are established - primarily in urban centres.
Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Kingston begins what may be Canada’s first formal adult literacy program.
Alfred Fitzpatrick, founder of Frontier College, sets up his first Reading Camp in Northern Ontario, providing worker-teachers to northern mining and lumber camps. Teachers work alongside labourers during the day and teach them to read and write at night.
The Antigonish Movement , which employs adult education to build self-reliance and rebuild the economies in small communities in the Maritimes, is started up by two priests, Father Moses Coady and Father Jimmy Tompkins, at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
The Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), the first national organization dedicated solely to the field of adult education, is founded as a clearinghouse to serve professionals in the field.
Roby Kidd becomes the first Canadian citizen to earn a doctorate in adult education.
Canada Manpower and Immigration provides funding for academic upgrading across the country through the Basic Training for Skills Development (BTSD) program as part of its overall strategy for labour market skills development.
September 8th marks the first celebration of UNESCO’s International Literacy Day.
The Official Languages Act leads to an explosion of second-language teaching across the country and further contributes to awareness of the large numbers of undereducated adults.
World Literacy of Canada conducts the first national survey of adult literacy in Canada, Adult Basic Education and Literacy Activities in Canada.
The National Literacy Secretariat (NLS) is established by the federal government to bring national leadership and perspective on literacy issues across Canada.
The United Nations declares 1990 the International Year of Literacy.
The federal government launches its Essential Skills Research Project based on the National Occupation Codes (NOC), a standardized way of describing occupations.
The National Literacy Secretariat becomes the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES).
The Ontario Literacy Coalition hosts Spotlight on Learning: Becoming Agents of Change Conference, in partnership with the five eastern provinces’ literacy coalitions.
The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) assesses the level and distribution of adult skills in a coherent and consistent way across countries.
These are just a few of the interesting milestones highlighted in the Essential Skills Ontario Timeline of Literacy and Essential Skills. Slide the grey arrow bar back and forth to take the tour and review all of the information. You can click on the + button to get more information about a particular year.
As the publisher says, “This timeline is a work in progress and is not a comprehensive history of the literacy and essential skills field, but instead highlights significant milestones in the field, as well as noteworthy moments in Essential Skills Ontario’s history.”
A job well done!
This article was prepared by:
NALD Editor/Stakeholder Liaison
Tel: 506-462-5034 or toll-free: 1-800-720-6253