2008 Keynote Speaker Biographies
NRDC and Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies
Ursula is Director of the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy and Head of the Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London.
From 1995 to January 2003 Ursula was Director of Research at the Learning and Skills Development Agency (formerly FEDA). During this time she led the Agency's research strategy and programmes. In 2001 she was instrumental in establishing the Learning and Skills Research Centre, a specialist strategic research centre focusing on long-term policy development and improving practice across the field of post 16 education and training. At LSDA she also directed a number of national development programmes which supported the implementation of new policy, and led a range of national evaluation and impact studies.
Ursula started working in adult literacy in 1974 in a voluntary adult education centre in South London. She continued teaching and organising in literacy, numeracy and language for many years in London and Brighton. In the late 1980s, she became a manager in further, adult and community education but has always worked on the principle that literacy, numeracy and ESOL are the heart of post-16 learning. She was Vice-Principal at Kensington and Chelsea FE College before joining LSDA in 1995. Her own research focuses on the development and use of writing as skill and means of expression. Her PhD was about the acquisition and meaning of learning to write in 19th Century England, comparing meaning and experience across time with the late 20th Century context. She is currently finalising a book on the history of learning and using writing skills, comparing learning opportunities and motivational factors with present-day conditions.
National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy
John is responsible for managing and delivering all NRDC research projects and activities as well as coordinating a team of researchers from a wide range of disciplines. John was previously a member of the research directorate at the Learning and Skills Development Agency where he was also the Research Centre Manager. Before that, he was Head of Humanities at an adult education institution in central London.
John has experience of teaching in various different settings and sectors. He taught philosophy at the Universities of Bristol and London, and has also tutored in the prison service and in adult and further education organisations. On-going research is taken up with persons with profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities; their political status, the question of whether and how they are shown respect, and an examination of the teaching and learning practices best fitted to their needs and abilities.
Helen is Executive Director at the National Research and Development Centre (NRDC) for adult literacy and numeracy, based at the Institute of Education, University of London. Helen leads for NRDC on teacher education and on research into embedded teaching and learning of literacy, language and numeracy.
Before joining NRDC, Helen worked as the London Region Co-ordinator for the then Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit at the DfES. Helen has worked closely with LLUK in the development and revision of standards and qualifications for teachers of adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL.
An experienced ESOL and literacy teacher trainer, Helen worked on capacity building in London region for teacher training in literacy, numeracy and ESOL. Based at Tower Hamlets College she was responsible for establishing and developing 'talent', the London wide capacity building project funded by the London Regional Development Agency. During the 1990s as a director in the voluntary sector, Helen worked on a series of community development and teacher education projects in East London.
Helen has experience in teaching on programmes integrating language and literacy with vocational training dates over many years, in both further and adult education.
American Institutes for Research
Heidi Silver-Pacuilla has served the adult literacy field for over 20 years and a variety of capacities. Currently she is a Senior Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research, conducting research and delivering technical assistance to a range of educational providers. Her doctorate from the University of Arizona in 2003 focused on adult literacy and learning disabilities, her dissertation work was conducted as a participatory action research project with women literacy learners with disabilities. Before joining AIR, she served as a Disability Specialist, classroom instructor, a tutor, a program Board member, a trainer of volunteers, and a VISTA volunteer.
Institute of Education
Maria Kambouri is Lecturer in Research Methods in Psychology and Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. She has run a series of large scale research projects including the NRDC ICT effective practice project in conjunction with Dr Harvey Mellar. Her main research interests are ICT in education, Adult Literacy and Numeracy, ICT and Basic Skills and Educational games and e-learning
Jane Williams joined Becta in April 2007 as Executive Director for Further Education, Skills and Regeneration. Previously she was Director of Improvement in the Further Education System in the Department for Education and Skills where she led on strategic policy for quality improvement, inspection, e-learning, workforce, leadership, teaching and learning, personalisation and the quality of Skills for Life. Jane also set up the Standards Unit and the Success for All Strategy and jointly led the development of the White Paper 'Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances'. She was the sponsor Director for the Quality Improvement Agency, the Adult Learning Inspectorate, the Centre for Excellence in Leadership, Lifelong Learning UK, and the Basic Skills Agency.
Jane has over 25 years experience in Further Education, embracing such interests as professional development and regeneration. She became Principal of Wulfrun College, Wolverhampton in 1996 and Principal of City of Wolverhampton College in 1999. In Wolverhampton she chaired the Local Strategic Partnership and Focus Housing Association and contributed to many local collaborative developments. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Music is her main recreation. In 2003 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Wolverhampton for services to Further Education in the West Midlands.
Martin Good is the Chairman, and a founding director, of Cambridge Training and Development, UK, which has a national and international reputation for its pioneering work in the design and use of learning materials. CTAD is now a member of the Tribal Group plc, the leading UK support services group.
For many years Martin has led the CTAD's development activities, and directed most of their major technological initiatives. CTAD's is fascinated by the relationship between pedagogy and technology, and in finding ways to fuse them creatively.
He has written widely on the application of technology to learning and particularly about learning design, technology, empowerment and basic skills. Most recently, he wrote a chapter called On the Way to Online Pedagogy for Teaching & Learning Online: New Pedagogies for New Technologies, edited by John Stephenson, 2001.
Harvard School of Public Health
Rima Rudd is a leader in health literacy policy, research, and practice. She crafted the USDHHS action plan for the health literacy objective for the nation, served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Literacy, and on the National Research Council Committee on Adult Literacy. She conducted the first analysis of health literacy among US adults with colleagues from the Educational Testing Services and Statistics Canada. Dr. Rudd been a member of the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health since 1988 and teaches graduate courses in health literacy and public health program design and evaluation.
Marijke Dashorst has a long and distinguished career record in cross European adult learning. Since 2005 she has been detached nation expert in the European Commission, Education and Culture with a focus on adult learning. She has given support to the development of mobility and the European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training. Prior to her work with the EU Marijke worked for the Dutch Association for Vocational and Adult Education and Training developing a new qualification structure and competence based learning as well as working on international projects. She began her career as a Trainer at the De Guldenberg training institute working with a variety political parties, schools, prison as well as big companies like Philips.
Dr. Adama OUANE is currently Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Hamburg. In 1976, he received his Ph.D in applied linguistics from the Institute of Linguistics at the Moscow Academy of Sciences.
From 1977 and 1982 he was the Deputy National Director-General for Literacy and applied Linguistics in Mali, Professor at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Bamako and Consultant to UNICEF, UNDP, the Agence de la Francophonie and The World Bank. He directed the overall linguistic development plan of Mali and launched the first programme of the use of local languages in schools. He has a very long association with the UNESCO Institute for Education, where he served as a Senior Research Specialist from 1982 to 1995. His responsibilities included research, capacity building and technical support to Member States, NGOs and CSOs in the area of literacy, post-literacy, curriculum development, monitoring and evaluation. He also designed and implemented a large number of inter-regional programmes in these areas.
Dr. Ouane has published many books and papers dealing with literacy, post-literacy and continuing education, adult and lifelong learning, mother tongue and multilingual education. He was the Director of the UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE) in Hamburg from 2000 until its closure in June 2006 and transformation into the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). From 1995 to 1999 he was a Senior Programme Specialist as well as leading specialist responsible for literacy, adult education, non-formal and basic education at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. He was the main author of the major education reports prepared by UNESCO and one of the key organizers of the Fifth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA V).
Besides speaking many African languages, he is fluent in English, French, Russian and German.
Helen Kaczmarek is deputy to the Head of the Skills for Employability Unit in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The Department is one of the newest in the UK Government having been created in June this year. The new Department will take forward strategies to meet our ambition that adult skills levels in the UK should be world class. This includes Skills for Life, the Government's strategy for improving adult literacy, language and numeracy skills. Launched in 2001, the strategy has engaged over 4.7 million learners to improve their skills.
Helen has played a key role in delivering the strategy since 2002. Between 2002 and 2004, she led the Employer Engagement team focusing on raising awareness and demand for Skills for Life in the workplace. Helen joined Assetskills Sector Skills Council (SSC) on secondment in 2004 to contribute to their activities as lead SSC for Skills for Life across the Skills for Business network. Since her return to the unit in 2006, Helen has led on policy for English for Speakers of Other Languages, delivering the Skills for Life targets, the development of an Employability Skills programme for people who are out of work and engaging employers and other government departments.
Institute of Education
Until retirement through 2003/2004 he was Director of the Bedford Group for Life course and Statistical Studies, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, with responsibility for the 1958 and 1970 birth cohort studies, and the Wider Benefits of Learning Research Centre, and was the first Director of the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy & Numeracy. Dean of the School of Education in the Open University. Recent publications include the NRDC reports New Light on Literacy and Numeracy and Does Numeracy Matter More
Portland State University
Stephen Reder is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied
Linguistics at Portland State University. His research and teaching interests
focus on adult education and the processes of literacy and language development
during adulthood. He has been leading two major projects in adult education under
the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), a research
center based at Harvard University in which Rutgers, Portland State, the University
of Tennessee and World Education collaborate as partners. Dr. Reder is the Principal
Investigator for the Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning and the National Labsite
for Adult ESOL. These projects are both attempting to understand the ways in
which adults acquire new literacy and language abilities and the roles which adult
education programs and policies play in supporting that development. Professor
Reder is the author of numerous publications about his research and its implications
for adult education and adult literacy and language development. Dr. Reder actively
works with networks of adult education researchers, practitioners and policymakers
at the state, regional and national level.