Adult Learning Centres Earn Top Marks

June 25, 2003

Adult Learning Centres, which began to emerge in an unplanned way seven years ago, have become a powerful and effective new approach to education in Manitoba, particularly as regards Aboriginal people. A new study based on nearly 100 interviews with Aboriginal adult learners and ALC staff found that in many cases remarkable personal transformations are occurring.

The report, Aboriginal Learners in Selected Adult Learning Centres in Manitoba, by Jim Silver with Darlene Klyne and Freeman Simard, is being released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba on the same week that most Manitoba Adult Learning Centres are holding their graduation ceremonies.

The authors attribute the success of the ALCs to the strong social, emotional and practical supports provided to learners, among other factors. In addition, where Aboriginal cultural practices are part of the educational strategy at an ALC, they are much appreciated by Aboriginal learners, and where such practices are not present they are desired by many Aboriginal learners.

The report concludes with a summary of our findings, a discussion of the relationship of our findings to the literature, and some recommendations that arise from the interviews.