Schooling and Adult Literacy: A Comparative Analysis Using International Assessments

Melissa Caldeira Brant de Souza Lima , Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital
Stephanie Bengtsson, IIEP/UNESCO

This study deals with the relation between schooling and adult tested literacy, an issue that is crucial in the debate and in education policy involving school quality and lifelong learning and is also associated to individual and societal well-being. Based on international literacy assessments, there is an increasing empirical evidence indicating that schooling and adult literacy are positively associated, however, there is significant overlap in the distribution of literacy skills among individuals with different levels of educational attainment. Using recent data on international literacy assessments - Demographic Health Survey (DHS), STEP Skills Measurement, Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) -, we aim at answering the following research questions: (1) How does literacy tests, in the referred dataset, compare with each other in terms of conceptual and theoretical framework and what they purportedly measure? (2) Is it possible to establish common ground between DHS and STEP/PIAAC in order to expand the scope of analysis? (3) What is the relation between literacy and schooling, when considering the different assessments? (4) What are the effects of adult learning and use of skills on the relation between literacy and schooling? . Keywords: International Literacy Assessments; Schooling; Adult Literacy; School Quality; Lifelong Learning.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy