Adult Literacy and Community Development

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My vision in my work with VOC this year is to explore the intersection of adult literacy and community development. Through research, I hope to learn more about the connection between research and practice in writing for adult learners; through working with a community based organization I hope to deepen my knowledge and understanding of the impact and challenges of working in a literacy program and how this translates into overall goals of improving livelihoods and building a stronger community. Throughout the semester, I have realized more potential for realizing my goals in my work and I have worked on different components of my vision. Asset mapping is one of the highlights form this semester. Bergdall (2003) defines asset-based development as a mobilization of skills, resources and commitment of the residents along with others grounded in the area to strengthen the economic and social well-being of the entire community. As I revised my personal asset map, I reflected on this definition of asset-based development and made the connections of how I can leverage the resources that I have towards my economic and social well-being. Throughout the semester, I have been intrigued by the connection between my personal asset map and the organizational asset map. While the organization can utilize both internal and external resources, a thorough understanding of individual assets in the organization is critical towards strengthening the functioning of the organization. My understanding of the networks, skills and interests that I bring to the table is critical for the organization because this enables me to use those skills to leverage resources as a catalyst at the organizational level. About two years ago I took a class on individua... ... middle of paper ... ...g with Prof. Binder. Writing this final piece has allowed me to synthesize my experiences but I found it harder to reflect and make deep connections during the semester. I would like to explore and make a plan for a continuous, challenging, connected and contextualized reflection process as Collier and Williams suggest. I am determined to develop a more disciplined reflection process for my work in communities as a learner and as an individual. Works Cited Bergdall, T. (2003). Reflections on the Catalytic Role of an Outsider in Asset based Community Development (ABCD) Collier, P.J and Williams, D.R. Reflection in Action; The learning-doing relationship. Chapter 6. Illich, I. (1968) To Hell with Good Intentions. Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) Address. Reitenauer et al. Building and Maintaining Community Partnerships. Chapter 2.
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