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Celebrating International Literacy Day

Details: Written by Kate Hutchinson |

What’s International Literacy Day 2022 all about?

Can you imagine navigating life without the ability to read and write? Wiping out illiteracy around the world is what International Literacy Day is all about.

As a leading UK training provider of literacy skills, The Skills Network are proud to join UNESCO and people all over the world in celebrating International Literacy Day on Thursday 8th September 2022.

This year, International Literacy Day will be celebrated under the theme, “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces” and will be an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable and inclusive education for all. (1)

In a post-pandemic world, 24 million learners might never return to the classroom, out of which, 11 million are projected to be girls and young women (2). The global literacy rate for males currently stands at 90% whereas for females it is 82.7% (3). To ensure no one is left behind, we must fill the global needs gap to enrich and transform our learning spaces.

What is a traditional learning space?

In response to this year’s theme, The Skills Network relish the opportunity to flex our industry expert muscles and challenge the status quo of traditional learning spaces.

The classroom has been the dominant learning space of educational delivery for decades, but now alternative options are beginning to dominate.

Why is it that some learners are choosing to not return to the classroom?

Re-thinking the traditional learning space

In our recent report ‘The Generational Divide’, we uncovered that the one size fits all approach to learning does not work for every age group and might explain the disengagement of today’s learners.

Through our research conducted across the four main generational groups (Baby Boomers (57-65 years), Gen X (41-56 years), Millennials (25-40 years), and Gen Z (9-24 years) we revealed some key learnings about how each generation likes to learn - including their preferred ‘learning space’.

Learning spaces and generational preference:

  • 3 in 4 Baby Boomers stated that home learning is their preferred learning space. With 57% having access to digital tablets, they are not averse to utilizing technology to learn in the comfort of their own home. (4)
  • For Gen X, 32% said they wanted the ability to access online learning spaces on multiple devices, but laptops and tablets remained the top two choices. (5)
  • A hybrid learning space would work well with Millennials. This is because Millennials are conscious about their screen time and are more likely to track the hours that they’re clocking up. Millennials have on average 9.2 social media accounts, therefore their time spent online needs to be good quality and meaningful. (6)
  • Gen Z learners like to be entertained through video content with YouTube being their most popular platform. With their ideal training length being just 35 minutes a session, Gen Z learning spaces need to be episodic and entertaining in nature. (7)

We have identified a generational learning divide whereby each age group has their own unique learning space preference. Whilst there is still space for classrooms, our research has shown that many generations have shifted their preferences towards the online learning space - including those at school age such as Gen Z.

As technology innovations continue to transform our learning preferences, so too should our learning spaces. Only then, will literacy and all other educational subjects become truly inclusive and encourage lifelong learning for many.

Get Involved

This International Literacy Day, why not try sharing some of your favorite literacy learning resources? These can be resources for the classroom, online or wherever you like to learn best!

You could start an evening book club with friends or donate books to your local school or library. Prefer online learning spaces? Why not share a YouTube channel that really helped you or somebody you know with their literacy studies.

Together, we can transform the disengagement with traditional learning spaces and tackle the global illiteracy crisis.

Want to know more about HOW and WHERE the different generations like to learn?

Read The Generational Divide report in full HERE

(1-2) UNESCO

(3) National Today

(4-7) The Generational Divide by The Skills Network