When researching adult literacy in Canada, how do I use graphic organizers like these below for economic, personal or social...

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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There are so many options for graphic diagrams that accommodate cognitive information systems that in this answer format, I can give only a suggestion of what might be possible, but you can take the reasoning and apply it to more choices. Starting with social issues, these involve varying ways individuals and groups of individuals interact with each other. Therefore, when analyzing influence among individuals or groups, you might consider an interaction cycle graphic. This shows how events in a cycle produce a set of results again and again. For instance, when considering adult literacy, you might use this cycle to analyze or demonstrate how adult illiteracy leads to job performance failure, which leads to loss of self-esteem, which leads to lack of self-confidence, which leads to job performance failure.

For personal concerns or decisions regarding adult illiteracy, you might consider using a synetics chart. This chart sets up metaphors, which are comparisons of unfamiliar things to well known things to make the unfamiliar more understandable. Perhaps an illiterate adult is trying to decide to take reading and writing lessons, a difficult decision for a number of reasons. The synetics chart asks what not knowing reading is similar to, feels like, is opposite of and what the opposite is similar to. The purpose is to determine a synthesis, a coming together of ideas, leading to an enlightened decision about what to do based upon what the problem is like when framed in terms of something else that the adult understands better.

For economic considerations, such as whether the cost of taking adult literacy lessons is worth the expense, you might use a cerebral chart that focuses on a main idea and examines off-shoots of the main idea. In this case, the main idea would be buying literacy lessons. One obvious off-shoot is the costs in money and time themselves. Another is the trade-off: if an illiterate adult spends money and time for lessons, what things are being deprived of money and time? This analysis might help the adult to see more clearly the costs versus the benefits, which  would facilitate arriving at a sound and confident decision.

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