Literacy and the Economy

In WHAT NOW? | Opportunity Lost, a new policy brief from the Canada West Foundation, Janet Lane and Scott Murray review some recent analysis of international and Canadian literacy levels (including PIAAC data) and economic performance. The new research confirms that literacy skills are an important determinant of economic growth. Two of the main findings… Read more

Using PIAAC for Reading Instruction

We’re familiar with the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) as a large scale survey, and our recent source of statistics for adult literacy rates. Did you know that the framework behind that research can also be used to guide teaching practice? Two foundational understandings supported PIAAC’s assessment work: Reading skills are… Read more

Are Our Jobs Changing Our Literacy Skills?

Analysis of data from international literacy surveys reveals that: Although education levels have increased over the years, average skill levels did not rise as expected. While adults of all backgrounds gain and lose literacy skills over time, the general trend is a decline in an individual’s skills as they get older. The cognitive demands of… Read more

Teaching Digital Problem Solving

Using the PIAAC Framework for Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments to Guide Instruction: An Introduction for Adult Educators is a new resource for adult education and literacy practitioners who are ready to teach digital problem solving. It adds the effective use of technology to instruction about hardware and software. This guide can be used when… Read more

Foundational Skills in the Service Sector

Drawing on PIAAC data, the National Skills Coalition in the United States has produced a new document, Foundational Skills in the Service Sector: Understanding and addressing the impact of limited math, reading, and technology proficiency on workers and employers. “Across the United States, millions of men and women with limited reading, math, or digital problem-solving… Read more

Statistics Canada’s PIAAC Reports

Statistics Canada has released its third report further analyzing the Canadian data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult competencies (PIAAC). Key findings from Literacy and numeracy among off-reserve First Nations people and Métis include: • Off-reserve First Nations and Métis adults have lower literacy and numeracy scores than non-Aboriginal adults. For example,… Read more

The Association Between Skills and Low Income

Last week Statistics Canada released a new article, The Association Between Skills and Low Income. Combining skill data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) with household income information, the study confirmed that: “Lower levels of literacy are associated with a higher likelihood of low income, even after accounting for other factors… Read more

Skills Development in Canada – new C.D. Howe report

Canada’s average performance in PIAAC (the OECD’s test of adult literacy, numeracy and problem solving) has raised questions about the quality of provincial education systems. If Canada has a high-performing education system, why do its graduates not out-perform the international norm? The explanation for the scores lies elsewhere, according to a new C.D. Howe Institute report…. Read more

Does Not Compute

Adults, Computers and Problem Solving: What’s the Problem?, the OECD report described in yesterday’s blogpost, found that skill in problem solving using technology is associated with age. But, Does Not Compute: the high cost of low technology skills in the U.S. and what we can do about it found that we can’t assume that digital… Read more