Learning a Living

First Results of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey

image of Learning a Living

Based on the Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey conducted in Bermuda, Canada, Italy, Mexico (Nuevo Leon), Norway, and the United States of America in 2003 and 2004, this book presents an initial set of findings that shed new light on the twin processes of skill gain and loss. The book opens with an explanation of the goals and conceptual approach of the survey and comparative profiles of adult skills in participating countries. It then looks at the relationship between education and skills and adult learning and skills. Additional chapters compare the employability of younger and older populations in participating countries, skills and economic outcomes, skills and information and communications technologies, skills and immigration, the effects of parental education on skills, and the effect of skills on health.

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Parental Education and Literacy Practice in Daily Life

This chapter examines the relationship between the skills measured in ALL and family socio-economic background as well as literacy related practices in daily life. The analysis explores the extent to which observed differences in skills can be attributed to socio-economic inequalities. This is done for three cohorts of adults, namely youth aged 16 to 25, early middle aged adults 26 to 45 and late middle aged adults 46 to 65. The three age groups differ in the relationship between skills and socio-economic background. For example, the strength of the link between family background and skills among youth has changed in some countries over time between the IALS and ALL survey periods. The analysis further shows interesting variation in the impact of engaging in literacy practices at home and at work on inequality in skill.

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