Frontiere College
Organization profile published 1980

Year Published:  1980  
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX1049

Abstract:  A. Injured Workers Program, c/o Rafael Ramirexz. Several years ago, Frontier College discovered that 55% of injured workers undergoing rehabilitation at the government centre in Toronto are illiterate. Rafael works three evenings a week in a program designed to assist those workers who are interested in improving their ability to read and write or in general upgrading. The goal is to support their progress in their jobs with a personalized service. While they are at the Centre, Rafael can get them started. However, many of them come from other centres or small villages throughout Ontario. Thus provision of follow-up becomes crucial. In places where there are Frontier College personnel present the task of assuring on-going support is relatively easy. In other cases local volunteer assistance is sought from residents in the area where workers lives. The program relies heavily on the conviction that it is not necessary to have specialized teacher training in order to help someone to learn. Learning will happen, Rafael believes, if the "teacher", a neighbour or fellow-worker, is able to read and write and, most importantly, has the trust of the student and respects the integrity of the student. Rafael points out that these informal settings have been proven equally or more effective than classroom programs with professional teachers and textual aids. He insists that learning to read a chainsaw manual or a tax return guide is often more effective than the expensive texts prepared by publishing companies.

B. Learning and Teaching with Common Sense. By Dr. Marsha Forest
Free and may be reproduced. This booklet is designed to show parents, teachers, workers, and friends simply and contretely how something can be done for the five milliion Canadian adults who have less than a grade nine education, and to do so without years of training or large expenditures of money.

In a few pages it offers simple pointers based on stated assumptions and research finding about learning. The key assumptions are that people enjoy learning and will seek responsibility. The research finding suggest that alternative ways of learning are as good or better than the "traditional"; that teaching others is an effective reinforcement to learning; and that motivation is the key to learning.

Dr. Forest also offers some questions that the potential "teacher" might ask of her/himself such as: "Do I want to teach?" "Do I enjoy learning and reading?" "When did I last write a poem or a letter?" She also gives strong encouragement to learn as much as possible about everything to do with the life of the students.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1980.
See also CX770, CX2460.

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