Features of the Landscape
|Development of the Icon|
|What is Outcomes-Based Instruction?|
|What Initiatives Have Influenced an
Adults Do: Constructing Role Maps|
|Back to Table of Contents||Next Section--Using this Manual|
of the tasks early in the process of developing this curriculum was to find a
way to express what we are doing in a graphical form.
purpose of this wasn’t just to come up with a snazzy logo, but also to assist
in our thinking about ways to express our intended outcomes. We had already
determined that the primary areas were roles of Family Member, Community
Member and Worker, with strong
themes of Personal Development and Cultural
Awareness running through all of those three roles.
We brought several ideas to the table. The tree image was a strong contender. We had apples on a tree, fish swimming in an ocean, and other possibilities. My idea was unfinished and geometric. I saw a triangle representing the three roles superimposed on a circle that would represent Personal Development and
The Family role would be at the top of
the triangle, because that’s the main emphasis of our program.
worked with and discussed various images for a while, and then Kathleen
suggested that the triangle could be a road
inside of the circle. Aha! The circle then became the world, with the family
walking down the road toward the horizon. I curved the road so we could see it
moving across and around the world, and added continents, so that we could
represent Personal Development and Cultural Awareness as land and sea, or
features of the landscape, as we move forward together. The three primary roles
then became lanes, aspects, or areas on the road itself.
As we worked, we found that we all wanted to show forward motion, growth and learning. For me personally, the vision of moving forward down the road is a powerful one. Showing the family moving together is important to show the special emphasis and strength of a family literacy program. The various elements of the icon show how the themes and roles are integrated into a coherent whole, resulting in forward movement for the families we work with.
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What is Outcomes-Based Instruction?
Have you heard of such terms as “performance-based,” “learner-centered instruction” and other related terms? Sometimes synonymous with performance-based is the term “outcomes-based instruction.” In this section, we will define “outcomes-based instruction” and explain what it is not and what it is. We hope this helps you understand the uniqueness of this family literacy curriculum design.
Outcomes-based instruction is a contemporary type of curriculum design that focuses on the relevant, real-life and functional activities and processes of the learner resulting from content knowledge that is taught. It is the result of the much needed curriculum reform movement that is taking place in our schools today.
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it is NOT!
instruction moves beyond the traditional approaches of curriculum design.
Historically, curriculum design has followed along one of two frameworks:
is on topics to be covered, textbooks read, and memorization of facts,
with mastery shown exclusively through tests.
is on the demonstration of small, minute tasks or competencies by the
learner that converts to a grade or educational promotion. Such tasks are
often disconnected and lack any relation to real-life activities.
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Outcomes-Based Instruction IS!
Often referred to as the “learner-centered” approach
to curriculum design, an outcomes-based approach poses questions about where the
learner “ends” as the result of instruction, rather than where the learner
“begins” as in the case of content and competency-based designs. The
traditional approaches tend to be highly teacher-directed, whereas the
outcomes-based design is more learner-centered.
instruction poses four basic questions to the teacher.
do the learners need to DO in real-life situations that we as teachers are
responsible for in the class?
design of all instruction centers on learners engaging in meaningful
tasks, projects, and products that require synthesis of understanding and
can students do to DEMONSTRATE a level of proficiency in the outcome?
of content is demonstrated, not through tests, but rather through projects
and products that are meaningful to the learner or that have application
to real life.
skills must be LEARNED by the student to demonstrate proficiency in the
is on the process of learning over the content. What processes and
activities will the teacher design and what skills will the learner need
to develop to demonstrate proficiency that will result in the mastery of
the intended outcome?
concepts, themes, and issues must be UNDERSTOOD to meet the intended
concepts, themes, and issues must be learned in order to do the things
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What Initiatives Have Influenced an
the early 1990’s to the present, there has evolved a set of initiatives and
studies that have emphasized the important relationship of literacy education in
the context of family, community and work. These initiatives have had a profound
influence on the design of the curriculum contained within this Guide.
(Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (1991)
report was a study conducted to determine what proficiencies and skills
need to be learned in order to be successful as a worker. The report
states that a core set of foundational skills are necessary: basic skills
(reading, writing, math, speaking, listening), thinking skills (decision
making, problem-solving), and personal qualities (self-esteem,
accountability, integrity). In addition, other factors were found to be
critical: knowing how to allocate time, money, resources; interpersonal
skills (working in teams, negotiating, communicating effectively);
information (acquiring, evaluating data, interpreting and processing
information); systems (understanding social, organizational, and
technological systems; and using a wide array of technology to process
Act specifies family literacy as a viable option to meet adult education
and literacy needs. One purpose of this act is to “assist adults who are
parents to obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners
in the educational development of their children.”
For the Future (EFF*) (1994)
is an initiative of the National Institute for Family Literacy (NIFL).
Through the guidance and research efforts of NIFL, EFF has been charged to
answer the following question: What is it that adults need to know
and be able to do in order to be literate, compete in the global
economy, and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?
sets out to map the terrain of knowing and doing across the three
roles of parent and family member, citizen,
and worker. Integrated across
these three roles are 4 categories of standards focusing on specific
skills to carry out the core of activities embedded under these roles:
lifelong learning, communication, interpersonal, and decision-making
same three roles and standards have been adopted and established as a core
framework for the family literacy curriculum contained in this Guidebook.
* See EFF Wheel in Resources Section (p. R-15).
What Adults Do: Constructing Role Maps
The basic question when redesigning curricula that
focuses on the outcomes of the learner is quite simply:
do adults need to know and be able to “do”?
Similar to the EFF design, the outcomes-based design
described in this guide identifies three contexts or terrains within which
teaching and learning takes place. A fourth terrain has been added, individual
and family Goal Setting, which is to be integrated across all three roles.
It is easier to see the bigger picture of this type of curriculum design when it is presented visually. Maps are an ideal way to show the big picture. On the next page, you will find a visual schematic of what adults need to know and be able to do to fulfill their roles as:
and family members
The Family Literacy curriculum designed in this Guide
consists of three primary contexts as shown on the next page. Notice also the
small ovals connected to each of the three roles. Goal setting
is considered to cross all content and discipline roles for adults to succeed in
our world today. Drawing it this way helps you to see the over-arching
importance of goal setting as a part of the content to be integrated under each
role maps found on the first page of the Program Outcomes section depict the key
activities and skills that need to be performed within each respective role.
Examine carefully the breadth and depth of such a curriculum design.
Overview Graphic of Role Map