EDITORIAL

KEIKO YASUKAWA

Literacy and Numeracy Studies 2014. © 2014 Keiko Yasukawa. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Citation: Literacy and Numeracy Studies (LNS) 2014, 22, 4175, http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/lns.v22i1.4175

This issue of Literacy and Numeracy Studies farewells one of our founding editors, Rosie Wickert. Rosie was instrumental in bringing the predecessor journal Open Letter to the University of Technology, Sydney in 1997, and giving it a new name and life as Literacy and Numeracy Studies: An international journal in the education and training of adults. Rosie brought to the Journal her strong commitment to developing a research informed field of adult literacy and numeracy in Australia, and her own strong research and policy engagement in the field. Even after her retirement from the University, Rosie continued her active involvement in the Journal. On behalf of the editorial group, I wish to express our deepest thanks to Rosie for her tireless work with the Journal.

This issue welcomes articles from two new researchers in the field: Michael Atkinson and Ana Pinto. Both are currently studying for their research degree qualifications in Australian universities, and share their research in our Journal. Atkinson takes a critical perspective of the ways in which the neo-liberal underpinnings of the ESL programs for adult learners from refugee backgrounds in Australia limit their educational and social journey. His study suggests that by attending not only to the learners’ functional literacy skills, but also to learners’ sense of their emerging identities, these programs could be sites of much more meaningful learning for the learners.

Ana Pinto’s article is focused on the design of networked learning for adult literacy learners. Pinto combines pedagogical and architectural perspectives to develop a way of understanding design features of networked learning environments. Her article leaves readers to contemplate how well designed networked learning environments may, not only facilitate successful literacy learning in a narrow sense, but also facilitate the democratic distribution of social capital and critical engagement in socio-political issues.

The third article in this issue is by Robert Prince and Arlene Archer. Their article explores how academic voice is constructed multi-modally in quantitative texts. Starting from an example from a student’s thesis, they illustrate the ways in which different graphic texts can construct and negotiate modality. Their article poses questions for the teaching of academic literacy and numeracy in higher education, particularly in disciplines whose work rely heavily on quantitative texts.

The Refractions piece in this issue is a presentation made by Lesley Farrell at a 2013 forum organised by the Australian Council for Adult Literacy on the topic of Promoting Research in Adult Literacy and Numeracy. In this piece, Farrell advises researchers and practitioners to take heed of some of the research that is being undertaken outside the familiar boundaries of academic research in adult literacy and numeracy, and which is influencing policy makers transnationally. She cites a few such research studies to illustrate who are the people undertaking these studies, what influence are they having on policy makers, and why. Farrell’s aim is not so much to promote these studies as good research, but rather to argue that if we, as adult literacy and numeracy researchers, wish to undertake research that has impact on policy, we need to be mindful that traditional academic research is but one small source of influence in an increasingly global policy making process arena.

Finally, this issue features a review of Mike Rose’s Back to School: Why everyone deserves a second chance at education, his 2012 publication. The book is reviewed by Pam Osmond, whose entire career has been in adult basic education in Australia. At a time when debates about literacy and numeracy are led and dominated by employers and governments in purely economistic terms, Rose’s book and Osmond’s review implore us to remind ourselves what education is really about and what our moral imperative is for researching in adult literacy and numeracy.



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