IALS Institute 2011: Presenter Biographies



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Patrick Bussière is Acting Director of the Learning Policy Research Division of Employment and Social Development Canada. His responsibilities include the development, realization and dissemination of research products on post-secondary education, adult training, skills and literacy. He also works on implementation on many national and international surveys on Human Capital and is the lead of the Canadian delegation on the Board of Participating Countries of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). He regularly collaborates with organizations such as the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He is a graduate of Sherbrooke University in education and labour economics.

Egil Gabrielsen is currently vice rector at the University of Stavanger, Norway. An acknowledged expert in the field of literacy, he has been an educational and psychological consultant in Oslo, assistant professor in education and special education, chairman of the Association for Teacher Education, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the Center for Reading Research/National Centre for Reading Education and Reading Research at the University of Stavanger. Egil was the Norwegian Study Manager for the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL). He is currently a member of the Literacy Expert Group in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Ross Grandel grew up in Southern Saskatchewan. He obtained a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Small Business from SIAST in Prince Albert and a Liberal Arts Certificate from the University of Regina. He has 6 years experience in office administration, including the non-profit, library, and Aboriginal sectors. In his current position as Projects Administrator with the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Network, Ross is responsible for project administration including the Aboriginal Adult Literacy Assessment Tool.

Robert Henry has completed his Bachelor of Education through the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teachers Education Program and his Master’s of Education through the College of Education, Indian and Northern Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan. He has lectured at the University of Saskatchewan in the area of anti-oppressive education as well as a curriculum studies class focusing on Native Studies. Robert has a strong grounding in Indigenous research methodologies which he has used to research youth gangs in Saskatoon. Currently, Robert is undertaking interdisciplinary PhD studies in the Department of Native Studies.

Marylou Lennon, a Senior Research Analyst at the Centre for Global Assessment at the Educational Testing Service (ETS), has been involved in a number of large-scale national and international surveys of adult literacy, including IALS and ALL. Her most recent work has focused on the design and implementation of innovative computer-based assessments of ICT literacy and problem solving skills for projects including the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Her work at ETS has focused on test development, interface design, instructional design and research investigating the effects of item presentation on test performance. An additional interest of Marylou’s is the design of on-line tutorials to familiarize examinees with features in particular computer-based tests.

Juliette Mendelovits is director of a research program at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) that specializes in assessment in the humanities and social sciences, including adult literacy. She has worked on reading framework and test development in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), and on a New Zealand assessment of literacy and numeracy for adults, all of which have strong connections with IALS. Juliette’s special area of interest is reading assessment.

T. Scott Murray is principal of DataAngel, a full service policy research company located in Kanata, Ontario with broad experience in the design, implementation and analysis of adult literacy and numeracy assessments. Scott acted as international study manager for the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) and managed the design, implementation and analysis of UNESCO’s Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Program (LAMP), the International Survey of Reading Skills (ISRS) and the St. Lucia National Literacy Assessment, all of which included the assessment of reading components. He has also written extensively about the instructional and policy implications of the market segments identified by the statistical analysis of the components data.

Charles Pankratz is Dean of the Academic Foundations Department at Bow Valley College in Calgary. The department delivers upgrading, basic education and literacy programming, undertakes a variety of provincial and national projects and houses the Centre for Excellence in Foundational Learning. Charles is also the chair of the Alberta Benchmarks Committee.

Ron Pugsley, since retiring as the National Director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), US Department of Education (DoE), has been an education consultant at RP Associates, Bethesda, MD. His professional experience in the DoE includes: acting as the National Director for Adult Education and Literacy at the Department; Chief of the State Administration Branch; and Chief of the Accreditation Policy Unit, Eligibility and Accreditation Staff. At OVAE, Ron developed several national initiatives to increase access to literacy services and strengthen the quality of programs delivery in the US and internationally. He orchestrated the development of a national technology lab and support for pilot IT initiatives in South Africa, Ghana, and India (ILI, 2003). For the US, he led the design and implementation of the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS), and initiated development of model national standards for determining program effectiveness in adult education (1995-1998).

Allan Quigley recently returned to Regina, Saskatchewan close to where he grew up. He is working as an adult education consultant and teaches on-line for Penn State in “semi-retirement”. His interests in adult education have long been with adult literacy – its history, effective teaching/tutoring, issues of retention and recruitment, Aboriginal literacy and diversity. His most recent areas of literacy interest are working with community and practitioner-based action research in the literacy field. His personal interests are travelling, reading and writing poetry (badly). Allan hopes his work in adult literacy over the past twenty-four years while in the university world and, earlier, with government, colleges and as a literacy practitioner may add to the discussion.

Stephen Reder is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University. His entire teaching and research career and service activities have related to literacy and language issues in education, work and community settings, with a focus on adult literacy and second language development. He has been the Principal Investigator of two recently completed major projects in adult education: the National Labsite for Adult ESOL and the Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (LSAL). A new project is applying findings from these projects to design an innovative learning support system called the Learner Web. Steve has written widely about adult literacy and language research and its implications for education and training programs. He recently co-edited Tracking Adult Literacy and Numeracy: Longitudinal Studies in Adult Education.

Kjell Rubenson had the first chair in adult education in Sweden and was the Dean of Education at Linkoping University in Sweden before coming to Canada where he is a professor of education at the University of British Columbia and co-director of the Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training. He has supervised several large national and international research projects on structures, policies and outcomes of adult education and lifelong learning. He is the founding president of the European Society for the Study of Education of Adults. For OECD, Kjell was responsible for a review of National Reviews of Educational Policies on lifelong learning and has been involved in the IALS, ALL, and PIAAC projects. At the European Commission, he was a member of the scientific advisory board of the EURYDICE Education Information Network.

Célinie Russell has worked for Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes (COFA) for five years. COFA is a non-profit organization that provides support services to adult French-language training service providers, in the community, school board and college sectors in Ontario. COFA inspires and supports the actions of Francophone communities to create the conditions that would allow the entire population of Ontario to become fully literate. Célinie’s interests are in research on adult literacy (therefore relying heavily on IALS) and online learning. She has been involved over the last two years in the creation of an adult literacy curriculum framework (a project guided and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) which uses IALS levels. Célinie will be guiding COFA's members in the use of the new curriculum framework and the IALS levels, through training, articles and research.

Andreas Schleicher is head of the Indicators and Analysis Division of the Directorate for Education, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). His responsibilities include directing the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and steering the development of new projects such as the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). At the OECD, Andreas Schleicher has also held the posts of Deputy Head of the Statistics and Indicators Division in the former Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (1997-2002) and Project Manager in the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) (1994-1996). Before joining the OECD, he served as Director for Analysis at the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) within the Institute for Educational Research in the Netherlands (1993-1994) and International Co-ordinator for the IEA Reading Literacy Study, at the University of Hamburg, Germany (1989-1992). He has presented and written widely on contexts and rationale for international assessments

Jaleh Behroozi Soroui is Project Director for the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) project, at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Between 2004 and 2008, Jaleh was the Project Director for the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) funded by the NCES, at Education Statistics Services Institute-ESSI/FSP at AIR. Before joining AIR in 2004, (from 1993 to 2004) Jaleh was Director of the National Institute for Literacy’s (NIFL) technology initiative and National Director of the NIFL’s Literacy Information & Communication System (LINCS) where she oversaw the development of the network from initial stages to a full national organization and a communication system on which the adult education and family literacy community relies for communication, technology training, and access to comprehensive, timely, and quality information.

Sue Southwood is Programme Director for Literacy, Language and Numeracy at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), UK. She has gained extensive experience in workplace basic skills education having been Learning Zone Manager at Transport for London, Curriculum Manager at City and Islington College and Off Line Manager at Ford Motor Company. She has been involved with recent research on the outcomes of ten years of funding for Skills for Life on numeracy performance in the UK.

Ralf St. Clair is a literacy researcher and academic with many years of adult education experience. In 2009 he led the re-running of IALS in Scotland.

John Strucker is a researcher and consultant in adult literacy and teacher education with World Education, Inc. in Boston. From 1996 to 2007, he served as a Research Associate at the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) and Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he taught a laboratory practicum course, "Developing Reading in Adults and Older Adolescents." He has served as a consultant for the US ED Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the National Institute for Literacy, the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), UNESCO, Statistics Canada, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Prior to his appointment at Harvard, Strucker worked for eleven years as an adult literacy and ESL teacher. He received his AB, EdM, and EdD degrees from Harvard University.

John Vorhaus is Research Director at the UK National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy (NRDC) and former Director of the Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning (WBL). He has directed numerous projects on adult literacy, language and numeracy, many focused on teaching and learning practices, and on disadvantaged groups, as well as on the personal and social benefits of learning in relation to individuals, families and communities. John is currently directing a national longitudinal study on the impact of literacy and numeracy levels on the operational effectiveness of personnel of the UK Armed Forces.

Kentaro Yamamoto is a deputy director/Principal Research Scientist for the Center for Global Assessment at Educational Testing Service (ETS). He has been a technical advisor for OECD and Department of Education of USA. He has designed or contributed to designing numerous national and international large scale surveys of various subject domains for adults as well as for special populations such as NAEP, TIMMS, PISA, NALS, IALS, ALL, and PIAAC for twenty years. He also designed several individual tests in reading, and literacy. He developed a Psychometric model called "Hybrid", a mixture model of continuous and discrete measurement models for diagnostic testing as well as item response theory (IRT) scaling that has been used for all literacy surveys at ETS. He also designed the online testlet adaptive testing for Prose, Document and Quantitative adult literacy skills.

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