This paper introduces the significant body of research on everyday literacies that has developed over the last 20 years and links it with the concerns of those working in the field of lifelong learning. It starts by briefly introducing debates about adult informal learning. It goes on to discuss ethnographic and interview studies of everyday learning and literacies, using both print and electronic media. It presents some of the new insights and orthodoxies from this research and discusses the challenges it poses to formal pedagogies. The paper goes on to identify some key issues that still need to be resolved, looking at the strengths and limitations of both informal and formal learning opportunities for literacy. For example, everyday networks have both strengths and limitations for learning; local knowledge resources are flexible but unevenly spread. The paper closes by looking at the implications of this work for the organisation of literacy learning opportunities for adults
Studies in the Education of Adults is an international refereed academic journal, publishing theoretical, empirical and historical studies from all sectors of post-initial education and training. It provides a forum for the debate and development of key concepts. Studies in the education of adults is published by NIACE in association with the Standing Conference on University Research and Teaching in the Education of Adults (SCUTREA), the Universities Association for Continuing Education (UACE) and the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA).