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Literacy: a new discourse for effective change
Erin Grace Evans (author)Nancy Jokinen (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia College of Arts, Social, and Health Sciences (Degree granting institution)Lela Zimmer (Committee member)Indrani Margolin (Committee member)
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Number of pages in document: 77
The purpose of this research is to understand the link between the acquisition of literacy skills and change in a Northern context. Furthermore, this research explores the perceived role that improved literacy plays in helping individuals make change. A literature review highlights the history of literacy in the community, First Nations and immigrant literacy, social implications of low literacy and community indicators. My research sample consisted of seven participants living in a northern community in British Columbia. The approach was qualitative and utilized an adapted photovoice method. The data was pre-coded, then analyzed using descriptive coding and finally pattern coding. The research findings revealed four themes: (1) continuous learning; (2) enhanced self-confidence; (3) increased opportunities; (4) connecting with self and others. The findings also showed that with improved literacy the participants were able to make positive, lasting changes in their personal and professional lives.