In Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, current adult literacy and numeracy assessment is skills oriented; at the same time, there is a growing interest in more balanced understanding by also looking at the broad wellbeing-related outcomes of literacy education. In the research project reported below adult literacy learners in three community literacy programmes were invited to join a class Facebook group to describe the everyday outcomes of their literacy learning. The article focuses on the use of Facebook within the broader study. It discusses a range of privacy and technology challenges as well as learner engagement with Facebook in the classroom context, raising some significant questions about its value. The article explores recent theories of context and their pedagogical relevance. It concludes with implications for social media in adult literacy teaching and learning, aiming to involve marginalised adults in critical inquiry that builds their identity as informed participants in civic life.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
In the adult literacy field, learner and tutor are the commonly used terms.
Barton, D., Appleby, Y., Hodge, R., Tusting, K., & Ivanič, R. (2006). Relating adults’ lives and learning: Participation and engagement in different settings. London: NRDC.
Baskerville, D. (2012). Integrating on-line technology into teaching activities to enhance student and teacher learning in a New Zealand primary school. Technology, Pedagogy and Education,21(1), 119–135. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2012.659887.
Belu, A. (2017). The massive data collection by Facebook—Visualized. Dataethics. Retrieved April 6, 2018, from dataethics.eu/en/facebooks-data-collection-sharelab/.
Burnett, C., & Merchant, G. (2018). Literacy-as-event: Accounting for relationality in literacy research. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2018.1460318
Dabner, N. (2015). Social media for mobilising community and service learning in higher education: A case study of student volunteers following earthquakes in New Zealand. Retrieved Feb 1, 2018, from http://www.volunteerarmy.org/news/2015/8/17/social-media-for-mobilising-community-and-service-learning-in-higher-education-a-case-study-of-student-volunteers-following-earthquakes-in-new-zealand.
Durie, M. (1998). Whaiora: Māori health development (3rd ed.). Auckland, NZ: Oxford University Press.
Edwards, R. (2009). Introduction: Life as a learning context? In R. Edwards, G. Biestra, & M. Thorpe (Eds.), Rethinking contexts for learning and teaching (pp. 1–14). Oxon: Routledge.
Friesen, N., & Lowe, S. (2012). The questionable promise of social media for education: Connective learning and the commercial imperative. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning,28, 183–194. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00426x.
Furness, J., Roberston, N., Hunter, J., Hodgetts, D., & Nikora, L. W. (2017). Wellbeing effects from family literacy education: An ecological study. Community Psychology in Global Perspective,3(2), 22–37. https://doi.org/10.1285/i24212113v3i2p22.
Hamilton, M. (2016). Imagining literacy: A sociomaterial approach. In K. Yasukawa & S. Black (Eds.), Beyond economic interests (pp. 3–17). Rotterdam: Sense.
Hodgetts, D., Stolte, O., & Rua, M. (2016). Psychological practice, social determinants of health and the promotion of human flourishing. In W. W. Waitoki, N. R. Robertson, J. S. Feather, & J. J. Rucklidge (Eds.), The professional practice of psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand (3rd ed., pp. 425–436). Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Psychological Society.
Hutchings, J., Yates, B., Isaacs, P., Whatman, J., & Bright, N. (2013). Hei Ara Ako ki te Oranga: A model for measuring wellbeing outcomes from literacy programmes. Wellington, NZ: Ako Aotearoa.
King, P., Rua, M., & Hodgetts, D. (2017). How Māori precariat families navigate social services. In S. Groot, C. Van Ommen, B. Masters-Awatere, & N. Tassell-Mataamua (Eds.), Precarity: Uncertain, insecure and unequal lives in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 123–134). Auckland, NZ: Massey University Press.
Koehler, M., Mishra, P., Kereluik, K., Shin, T. S., & Graham, C. (2014). The technological pedagogical content knowledge framework. In J. M. Spector, et al. (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 101–111). New York: Springer Science + Business Media.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
LeNoue, M., Hall, T., & Eighmy, M. (2011). Adult education and the social media revolution. Adult Learning,22(2), 4–12.
Literacy Aotearoa. (2017). Literacy Aotearoa annual report 2016. Auckland, NZ: Literacy Aotearoa.
Māori Adult Literacy Working Party. (2001). Te kawai ora: Reading the world, reading the word, being the world. Report of the Māori Adult Literacy Working Party. Wellington, NZ: Te Puni Kōkiri.
Ministry of Social Development. (2016). The social report 2016: Te pūrongo oranga tangata. Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Social Development.
Pahl, K. (2014). Materializing literacies in communities: The uses of literacy revisited. London: Bloomsbury.
Ravenscroft, A., Warburton, S., Hatzipanagos, S., & Conole, G. (2012). Designing and evaluating social media for learning: Shaping social networking into social learning? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning,28(3), 177–182.
Tuomi-Grohn, T., Engestrom, Y., & Young, M. (2003). From transfer to boundary-crossing between school and work as a tool for developing vocational education: An introduction. In T. Tuomi-Grohn & Y. Engestrom (Eds.), Between work and school: New perspectives on transfer and boundary-crossing (pp. 1–15). London: Pergamon.
Waterhouse, P. J. (1996). The J63: Multiple tales for training in the manufacturing context. Education Links,53(Summer), 4–8.
Williams, J., Cowie, B., Khoo, E., Saunders, K., Taylor, S., & Otrel-Cass, K. (2013). Networked inquiry learning in secondary science classrooms (Summary Report). Wellington, NZ: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, NZCER.
We would like to express our gratitude to the literacy organisations, tutors and learners in our research; to our Literacy Aotearoa partners, especially Bronwyn Yates, Peter Isaacs and Katrina Taupo; and to our funder, the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, New Zealand Council for Educational Research (Grant No. 9166).
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Hunter, J., Furness, J. Questioning Social Media in the Adult Literacy Classroom. NZ J Educ Stud 55, 149–163 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-019-00148-x
- Adult literacy
- Social media