Introduction home Evaluation Continuing the Dialogue Meeting of the Minds I - 2004


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Wendi Maxwell, Larry Condelli, Carol Hirota, and John Tibbets
Wendi Maxwell, Larry Condelli, Carol Hirota, and John Tibbetts

On November 30-December 2, 2006, the Meeting of the Minds II Symposium was held in Sacramento, California. A national adult education practitioner-researcher symposium, the Meeting of the Minds was designed to provide opportunities for adult education practitioners and researchers to dialogue and share the most current research findings and practitioner wisdom. The ultimate goals of the symposium were to enhance literacy practice and increase student learning gains.

Sponsors and Participants

The symposium had three major co-sponsors: the California Department of Education, Adult Education Office; the California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) of the American Institutes for Research; and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), located at Harvard University. It also had the support of the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN), the California Distance Learning Project (CDLP), and the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS).  

With participation of more than 300 adult educators representing 22 states, the symposium brought many of the nation’s foremost adult education researchers together with adult education practitioners and policy makers.


Bringing welcoming remarks to participants at the Symposium opening session was State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell. Wendi Maxwell, Consultant, Adult Education Office, California Department of Education, provided an overview of the Symposium agenda and objectives.

To view the Power Point slides of the Symposium Overview, the symposium three-day schedule, and the document How to Get the Most out of the Symposium, click on the links below.

Maxwell thanked all those who helped to make the Symposium possible. To view the list of those to whom appreciation was extended, click on the link below.

Opening Session

The opening session featured Mark Kutner, Vice President at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, DC, who discussed results of the Health Literacy Survey, part of the 2002 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, Health Literacy of Americanís Adults [pdf]. In addition, John Comings, NCSALL Director, presented highlights of 10 years’ worth of NCSALL research, What NCSALL Has Learned, Briefly [pdf].

Concurrent Sessions

The 36 concurrent sessions featured nationally recognized scholars discussing their current work with a specific focus on supporting student success. All sessions addressed to some degree the challenges of supporting student success in a quality adult basic education and literacy education system and the ways in which research can further the development and implementation of quality policy and practice. Each presenter prepared an abstract of his/her research. These were printed and compiled into binders that were given to participants at registration.

Session Structure

Sessions were structured in the following manner: each research presentation was followed by (1) two practitioner-discussants who responded to the presentation, and (2) group discussions among participants who explored the topic from their perspectives as practitioners, policy makers, and researchers.

Participants, in small groups, brainstormed the implications for policy, practice, and research, and recorded the implications on response cards. The responses have been summarized for each session. Some of the presenters have consented to have their Power point slides posted to the Symposium Web site, also.

To view individual session abstracts, implications, and Power Points, please click on the Concurrent Sessions link at the top of this page. To view the program list of concurrent sessions with session descriptions, click here.

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