Required Education and Experience
Ontario's literacy community spent a number of years verifying and validating the skills needed to be a successful practitioner in the field of literacy. To learn more about the skills of Ontario's literacy practitioners and the validation process for selecting these skills, please visit the Core Skills module of this website. Hiring practices show that all literacy sectors and streams look for a certain level of education and/or related experience for practitioners. Previous education and experience provide valuable knowledge and skills for literacy practitioners. Furthermore, education and experience help to ensure that practitioners can effectively provide instruction and support to adult learners.
"The role of the LBS practitioner has become increasingly complex as the field has become professionalized. Not only do new practitioners have to absorb an overwhelming amount of information up front, they also have to work hard to keep their knowledge current as they respond to changing student profiles, evolving community environments, technological changes and new ministry initiatives." (Source: Orientation Guide for New LBS College Practitioner, Goforth Consulting, 2004, p. 1)
Post-secondary education and previous experience play essential roles in good literacy practice. Again, while sectors and streams have certain unique requirements, some commonalities can be observed:
- Adult literacy programs in Ontario prefer and sometimes require that their instructors have a post-secondary degree or diploma – preferably in a related area.
- Adult literacy programs in Ontario prefer that their instructors have related experience in adult education and training.
Education and experience requirements vary depending upon the sector (college, community-based, Laubach, or school board) and/or stream (Anglophone, Deaf, Francophone, or Native) the literacy program serves. A number of programs opt for “preferences” when hiring new practitioners because geographical considerations, skills shortages and/or budgetary restrictions prevent them from requiring the educational levels and experience that they would like. In addition, the life skills and personality of literacy practitioners also play a part in hiring decisions.