Great expectations: literacy, the individual and the economy

Keynotes announced

WAALC is delghted to announce our keynote speakers.

Michelle Circelli, a member of NCVER's Research Management Branch. Michelle was the 2013 Fulbright Professional Scholar in Vocational Education and Training and spent four months in the United States at the end of 2013 undertaking research into measuring success of adult literacy and numeracy programs.


Donna Carr is working with Murdoch's Aspirations and Pathways for University (MAP4U) with young people in the Rockingham, Kwinana and Peel regions.


Improving adults' reading, writing and maths skills is commonly understood to offer individuals a way out of poverty and a more healthy life. Education improves a person's life chances and life choices and at the same time enriches the pool of human capital available to the economy.

What are the rewards of learning to read well – are they only economic? What motivates learners and how can learner motivation be better understood and incorporated into teaching programs? Is financial literacy the only reason to teach numeracy? How do learners access the resources of their community to support their learning? What do teachers need to know about their students' informal learning outside of programs? Is adult education succeeding in addressing the correlations between low socio-economic groups and poor literacy? Are there alternatives to formal education? Do changing government policies and priorities make it more or less likely for adult literacy programs to make a difference?

Our theme for debate at this conference is:

Call for papers is now closed

We will invite keynote speakers to address some of these issues and now ask for Expressions of Interest from teachers and their students, researchers, policy makers, teacher educators, activists and blue-sky thinkers to run workshops or discussion groups.

We hope to achieve a balance between sessions focussing on debate, problem-solving and good practice in teaching. We encourage you to come and share your ideas, your research or your practice about any of the following areas of interest to practitioners: