Common Activities

Thirteen activities are important in all three roles. The Equipped for the Future (EFF) Framework includes a set of Common Activities, defined as those that occur in all three roles - parent/family member, worker, and citizen/community member. The following list comprises the 13 Common Activities. To view these PDF files, you need free Adobe Acrobat Reader Software. In each, a full description of the Common Activity is shown with examples of role specific activities and the list of skills that adults need to use to carry them out.

Gather, Analyze, and Use Information
Manage Resources
Work Within the Big Picture
Work Together
Provide Leadership
Guide and Support Others
Seek Guidance and Support from Others
Develop and Express Sense of Self
Respect Others and Value Diversity
Exercise Rights and Responsibilities
Create and Pursue Vision and Goals
Use Technology and Other Tools to Accomplish Goals
Keep Pace With Change

The Common Activities are simple tools to use. With the assistance of the Common Activities, teachers and students can:

  • find a common focus for instruction that supports learning across individual goals and participants' lives;
  • discuss how teaching and learning is situated in an authentic, real-life context that has meaning for the student;
  • explore the potential transfer of learning across the primary adult roles.

Building a common framework. By the end of June 1997, EFF development partners had accomplished a great deal: They had refined and validated role maps describing broad areas of responsibility and key activities. For each role they had developed a set of skills and knowledge based on the research literature. They had created linkages between the role activities and the skills and knowledge needed to carry them out.

As a basis for standards, however, the separate roles needed to be linked and brought into one coherent framework. Developing one framework that crosses the three roles is consistent with life experience. There may be three roles but one individual carries out all three, and that individual does not keep his or her life in separate compartments. Although the roles are distinct in many ways, there are many areas of overlap and interconnections. There is a great deal of evidence of transfer and interconnections between learning in one role and performance in another.

The three roles also needed to be linked from the perspective of the adult education system. One set of standards rather than separate role-based standards will serve the field better. While some programs focus particularly on work-related learning, or parenting, most support individual goals across students' lives. Policymakers and teachers alike need the clarity and simplicity of a single set of standards.

Further reading:

The Common Activities research and development is fully described in Section 6 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.