Evaluation of the Impact of [i]Focus on Basics[/i] on its Readers

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As part of its multi-pronged effort to connect research and practice in the field of adult basic education, the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) launched the quarterly publication Focus on Basics in January 1997. The broad goals of the publication are to connect research with practice; to connect teachers with research and research with the reality of the classroom; and, by doing so, to make adult basic education research more relevant to the field. NCSALL staff also hope that the publication helps to build a constituency of critical consumers for educational research.

Focus on Basics is a 24- to 28-page theme-based publication. Each issue contains one or two articles that provide an overview of the theory and research related to the theme. Three or four other articles by practitioners — often discussions of practitioner research projects — give examples of how these theories are put into practice. NCSALL research projects are profiled in a column entitled “Focus on Research.” As findings from NCSALL research are released, Focus on Basics publishes articles that explore these findings and the policy and practice implications they raise. The back page of the publication features bibliographic information on resources related to the theme of the issue.

NCSALL has made a concerted effort to draw upon writers from across the U.S. who represent the range of adult basic education venues and contexts. For each issue, an editorial board of practitioners is assembled. Care has also been taken to ensure that the editorial board represents the geographic and programmatic diversity of the field.

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