ProLiteracy Releases Series of Adult Education Research Briefs
Posted on June 16, 2020

ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the United States, announces the release of a series of five Research Briefs on adult literacy and education. Each brief is a 2,500–3,000-word summary that offers a synthesis of research on a particular topic, implications for practice, and next steps in research. 

Written by seasoned scholars who have demonstrated expertise on specific topics, ProLiteracy Research Briefs were developed to help adult literacy practitioners understand ideas that have emerged from research. They will also help researchers identify research needs by pointing to gaps in knowledge as part of an effort to provide adult educators with relevant research to inform their work. The five research topics addressed in briefs include student recruitment and participation; integrated technology; contextualized instruction; outcome measures; and student persistence. 

While research about K-12 education is relatively ubiquitous, focus on adult literacy and education has historically not been as consistent. ProLiteracy hopes that its new research briefs will bring attention to important topics in the adult education field and help identify where additional research is needed. 

Research Briefs editor, Alisa Belzer, from Rutgers University states “ProLiteracy aims to investigate factors that can help adult literacy practitioners improve program quality in order to improve learner outcomes. An important first step is to understand existing research. The five briefs summarize and synthesize the knowledge base in each topic, describe implications for practice, and suggest key gaps that could be addressed by researchers.” 

The ProLiteracy Research Briefs are one initiative that aligns with ProLiteracy’s greater Research Agenda, which outlines ProLiteracy’s commitment to adult education and literacy research. 

“ProLiteracy advocates for high-quality research that informs the adult education field and, more importantly, improves practice. The Research Briefs are one step in helping adult literacy and education providers gain access to the most relevant research available in order to help them provide quality services to learners,” says ProLiteracy president and CEO, Kevin Morgan.

The briefs—to be released one per month over the next five months—will be followed by professional development webinars in which research authors will help practitioners explore the research and learn about practical implications for practice. 


About ProLiteracy

ProLiteracy Worldwide, the recipient of the 2019 David M. Rubenstein Prize of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program, advances and supports programs to help adults acquire literacy skills needed to function more effectively in their daily lives. It has 1,000 member programs across 50 states and works with 30 partners in 25 countries to provide a wide range of adult literacy and basic education services to vulnerable populations. ProLiteracy builds capacity among frontline literacy providers by modeling proven instructional approaches, developing affordable, evidence-based learning resources, and providing professional development and technical assistance. For more than 60 years, ProLiteracy has scaled successful practices and driven advocacy efforts, resulting in a broad and sustained effort to improve and advance adult literacy. For more information, visit