Adult Education is Family Education; Adult Literacy is Family Literacy

By Jenn Wigginton

IAACE was invited to attend the Indiana State Literacy Association (ISLA) conference in Noblesville, Indiana on September 14th. Laura Smart and I were both lucky enough to attend. They invited us because they want to collaborate and grow as an organization and understand that IAACE is a worthy mentor.

One of the main reasons I wanted to attend is to grow our literacy strand for the next conference. I was also curious about their overall message and to learn more about the ISLA.

Here’s my recap.

  1. Sara Ahmed was the keynote. Her message was engaging and purposeful. She is a literacy coach, and her book is Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension. My favorite quote of hers, “Tell your story, so no one tells it for you.” And “When we see our learners, we need to see their whole humanity.” She told a personal story that certainly amplified her voice of how her identity crossed history. Her overwhelming message, “peace be with you.” Her book is on my to-read list.
  2. I learned about a great website that was designed by some Ball State University students, I think it has a high capacity to be used in the adult literacy classroom as well. I certainly believe as educators and parents; you will find it useful. Check it out and tell me what you think.
  3. I learned more about Social Emotionally Learning (SEL) with a session by Collaborative for Teaching & Learning (ctl) and their product #artfulreading. Their session gave me an idea of seeking a workshop for our conference on SEL. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
  4. I met Katie Ruzin, a consultant who gave a presentation on the Core Components of teaching. The two that I directly related to the adult education classroom are #1 Relationships and #2 Self-Control. I have paraphrased them down, but I see a correlation to the seven essential life skills by Ellen Galinsky, and you all know my passion for that book. We are inviting Katie to the call for proposals.
  5. Book, books and more books! They had a book store as a vendor! Their message is Book Saves Lives. I met an Indiana author by the name of B.A. Williamson who wrote the book, The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray. I think I’ll read it on my next road trip in October. So to be continued on that book. Another book that I added to my to-read list is The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–and how to Fix it by Natalie Wexler. This is the book that when I heard the description, it made me think of my title of this blog. Adult Education is Family Education; Adult Literacy is Family Literacy.
  • The ISLA conference blurred the line a little more for me when it comes to education. In my humble opinion, when we educate adults, we educate children. As we celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy this week, share the message that it is about Family, improving the quality of life for all. Add the hashtags, #AEFLWeek #IAACE to all your posts.

P.S. I won a Teach-Write Workshop that I’d love to pass on to an adult educator that would use it. They have a great message that they believe teachers who write make the best teachers of writers.  Email me if you want it,

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