EFF Role Maps

The Equipped for the Future Content Framework includes three role maps. The Equipped for the Future (EFF) Role Maps describe what adults do when they are effective in carrying out three primary roles -- citizen/community member, worker, and parent/family member. Each role map includes a central purpose for the role, broad areas of responsibility that are critical to achieving that purpose, and key activities that further define the broad areas of responsibility.

The role maps represent the first step toward developing standards for adult education. EFF took a different route from other standards-based initiatives established to improve the quality of public education. Rather than beginning by defining knowledge and skills within key academic subject areas like science, math, English, and social studies, EFF began by defining what adults do in the three primary roles reflected in the national education goals. Using the same methods that are used in work analysis to identify critical work functions and key activities, EFF research partners developed maps for all three roles. The three role maps were finalized in 1997. Then EFF identified role indicators -- what effective performance looks like in those roles and used that as a starting point to identify necessary knowledge and skills. The role indicators help to clarify what knowledge and skills to look for to determine whether an activity is being performed well.

The role maps are simple tools to use. With the aid of the role maps, adult education teachers and programs can organize and assess curriculum and instruction. Students can use the role maps to clarify their purposes for enrolling in an adult education program; to develop both long- and short- term goals; to revisit goals in light of what they are learning; and to discuss how teaching and learning is situated in an authentic, real-life context that has meaning for the student. The role maps are also important tools for promoting the transfer of learning and the active application of knowledge and skills.

Further reading:

The Role Maps research and development is fully described in Section 5 of the EFF Research Report: Building the Framework, 1993-1997 (Merrifield, 2000)

EFF Research Principle: A Contextualized Approach to Curriculum and Instruction (Gillespie, 2002) summarizes the research basis for this key EFF principle; addresses how the EFF approach can encourage transfer of learning and active application of knowledge and skills.

The Winter 2002 EFF Voice Newsletter focuses on the Family Member role map and family literacy programs using the EFF Framework.

The Spring 2001 HOT Topics Newsletter shares how teachers, tutors, and learners have used the EFF Role Maps in the goal setting process.