A prediction of outcomes: a psychological investigation into cognitive and affective development within the framework of adult literacy provision

  • Kenneth Kilbey

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This investigation seeks to explore the hypothesis, derived from observation and practice, that there is a strong relationship between the development of literacy skills and the growth of confidence in adult literacy students. Implicit in the developmental approach is the notion of progression towards some cognitive goal. Such a goal necessitates the establishment of a base line of existing
attainment, together with subsequent assessment so that progress and development can be measured. The study includes an evaluation of existing formal and informal methods of initial and subsequent assessment and diagnosis available at the time for Adult Literacy Scheme Co-ordinators.
Underlying the funding by Cheshire County Council for the project is the assumption that the results will be available for all practitioners and that the tools of measurement may be used by other Adult Literacy Co-ordinators in the County. It is intended, therefore, that this research should result in practical outcomes in which methods of assessment will involve active participation by students as well as by tutors, becoming part of the learning process. It is hypothesised that this kind of co-operation could lead ultimately to self-directed
learning and student-independence.
For the purposes of this research, a balance is attempted in the use of assessment tools, between standardised tests and informal methods. The study provides facts about students! reading habits; as well as their reading levels, their spelling levels, their handwriting, their writing skills and their writing habits. The study seeks to show the students' feelings towards education, their
educational attainments and the type of school which they attended. The study also attempts to come to some measurement of those aspects of student personality which relate to confidence, by means of tests and questionnaires. The study concludes with an examination of the link between cognitive and affective progress.
Date of AwardOct 1985
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMargaret Newton (Supervisor)


  • attainments
  • confidence
  • progress
  • assessment
  • methods

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