The article titled Functional adult literacy and empowerment of women: Impact of a functional literacy program in Turkey discusses the impact of a Functional Adult Literacy Program in Turkey (Kagitcibasi, Goksen, & Gulgoz, 2005). Notably, a functional literacy program seeks to teach individuals the basics of reading, writing, as well as basic arithmetic. Functional literacy programs equip individuals with tangible skills such as reading and writing. The objective of the study was to determine whether a Functional Adult Literacy Program registers additional benefits to the participants. The study investigated the potential impact of the adult literacy program on the cognitive, social, personal, as well as familial aspects of an individual’s life. There has been a debate on whether functional literacy can contribute significantly to socioeconomic development as well as advancement in cognitive skills. For this reason, the study sought to ascertain that a functional literacy program can empower individuals to pursue personal, familial, as well as socioeconomic changes. The researchers based the study in Turkey, a country in which many adults did not have the opportunity to receive education in their earlier years (Kagitcibasi, Goksen, & Gulgoz, 2005). The inaccessibility of formal education in Turkey necessitates the development of functional literacy programs that will empower adults to enjoy the benefits of literacy. This paper will present a critical summary of the article and a critique of the main arguments presented.
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The authors sought to determine whether a functional adult literacy program in Turkey had the potential to improve the lives of participants in various aspects. The 20 participants in the program received a diverse range of knowledge from the 25 topical units in the program. The participants participated in reading and writing exercises with the core objective of improving their literacy (Kagitcibasi, Goksen, & Gulgoz, 2005). The program presented unique aspects that differentiate it from mainstream literacy courses. The program utilized the phonological advantage that the Turkish alphabets present and placed emphasis on both critical thinking and comprehension. Unlike the mainstream literacy courses, the program sought to attach more meaning and functionality to literacy. After the participants attended the program, it was imperative to assess the outcomes of the program. The participants conducted interviews with the core objective of determining how the participants felt after participating in the program (Kagitcibasi, Goksen, & Gulgoz, 2005). After a year, the researchers conducted an additional study to determine the long-term impacts of the program using questionnaires. The main purpose of the second study was to evaluate the sustainability of the program and its benefits.
In the discussion section, the authors present the main findings of the two studies. It emerges that the Functional Adult Literacy Program has the potential to improve both reading and writing. However, the self-efficacy levels that should govern reading and writing were not evident as outcomes in the study. Although the participants registered some improvement, it was explicit that they needed to develop more competent reading and writing skills (Kagitcibasi, Goksen, & Gulgoz, 2005). However, a year after the implementation of the program, there was a significant increase in the self-efficacy skills of the participants. The program also helped the participants to register significant improvements in various aspects of their lives. The participants became active in social activities and enhanced family cohesion. The value of children became more evident to the participants, and their self-concept improved significantly. It was notable that the participants became empowered to make decisions regarding their family size and the need for better family planning. The participants registered positive outcomes in their interactions with family members and children as a result of the program. The participants also became familiar with television news and were able to recall the main issues highlighted in the news (Kagitcibasi, Goksen, & Gulgoz, 2005). The program also empowered the participants to make better decisions in the socioeconomic sphere. The participants in the program confessed that they had witnessed the benefits of gaining knowledge and had recognized its impact in decision-making. The family dynamics of the participants improved significantly, and the women became vocal on the need for education of their children. The overall benefits of the program were that there was a measure of empowerment that had a significant impact on the lives of the participants.
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One of the outstanding aspects of the study is that the participants conducted two evaluations with the core objective of highlighting both short-term and long-term benefits of the program. The two sets of evaluation enabled the scholars to have a better perspective on the real impacts of the program (Prins, 2008). However, the use of questionnaires in the second study was a limitation on the quality of data that the participants collected. Notably, many of the participants had not gained sufficient literacy skills to address the questionnaire effectively. However, the main arguments presented demonstrated the importance of functional adult literacy programs. The authors make strong points regarding the impact of functional adult literacy programs and their ability to transform the lives of women in countries such as Turkey (Sudharani, Umapathi, & Krishnaveni, 2012). The views of the authors are reliable because they present a realistic analysis of the sustainability of the program’s benefits. For this reason, the article is a reliable source in support of functional adult literacy programs.
- Kagitcibasi, C., Goksen, F., & Gulgoz, S. (2005). Functional Adult Literacy and Empowerment of Women: Impact of a Functional Literacy Program in Turkey. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(6), 472-489.
- Prins, E. (2008). Adult literacy education, gender equity and empowerment: Insights from a Freirean-inspired literacy programme. Studies in the Education of Adults, 40(1), 24-39.
- Sudharani, K., G. Umapathi, G., & M. Krishnaveni, M. (2012). Impact of Literacy on Social Capital Formation among Women. International Journal of Scientific Research, 2(11), 157-158.