Greenberg Awarded $10 Million Grant to Research and Advance Adult Literacy

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the College of Education a five-year, $10 million grant to establish a new national research center that will support research focusing on ways to improve adult literacy in the United States.

The grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences allows Georgia State to establish the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy, where researchers will study the underlying cognitive and motivational issues of adults who struggle with reading.

The primary focus of the center is on adults reading at the third to eighth grade levels, examining impediments to reading and developing and evaluating a reading intervention to improve literacy.

“Compared to many areas in education, adult literacy has had comparatively little funding and little rigorous research,” said Daphne Greenberg, associate professor of educational psychology and special education, and principal investigator of the project. “There is a need to understand the reading related strengths and weaknesses of adults who have difficulty with reading, and how to best help them increase their reading abilities.”

According to the most recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy, about 43 percent of adults in the United States read at basic or below basic levels of literacy. About 44 percent of adults who read at below basic levels have incomes below the national poverty threshold. Greenberg noted that low adult literacy can translate into poor intergenerational transfer of literacy from adults to youth.

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