December 2008

Program summaries for Learning Works, and for selected programs, some additional resources for listeners to follow up on the program.

Monday 01 December/ Friday 05 December 2008

PBA FM – 89.7 on the FM band in Adelaide
8.30pm Mondays, repeated 9am Fridays

A Learning Society
The Fremantle Men’s Shed

For almost four years now in Learning Works, we have featured regular interviews on the growth of Men’s Sheds around Australia. Back in 2006, we first spoke with Associate Professor Barry Golding from the university of Ballarat, and most recently in 2008 we visited the new shed being built at the Aldinga Community Centre. PBA FM’s Tony Ryan was in Perth recently for the annual conference of Adult Learning Australia. While there, he spoke with two men who are very committed to developing a space for men – as they said, from age nine to ninety – in the Perth suburb of Fremantle. Interviewees are Alan Gowland and Bill Johnstone, speaking about their work in the Fremantle Men’s Shed.

Arts, Literature and Music A Good Read
I Still Have It - I just can’t remember where I put it - Confessions of a Fiftysomething, by Rita Rudner

Sarah KnightOur reviewer this week, Sarah Knight from the Salisbury Library Service, describes this book as “a veritable gem of a light-hearted read, with an extremely long title.” She goes on to say that laughter is the best medicine and within the pages of this book you will be chuckling, guffawing, snorting or just plain old rib tickling belly laughing all the way to the way to the last full stop.

Online resources: Audio Transcript


Monday 08 December/ Friday 12 December 2008

A Learning Society
Let’s Talk Secret Codes – Program 7 of 7 - national adult literacy survey

Dr Sue ShoreIn Let’s Talk Secret Codes this week, Dr Sue Shore from the University of South Australia reflects on adult literacy in Australia today in the light of the findings of the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ABS 2007). The findings of this national adult literacy survey, released at the end of 2007, indicate that almost half of the adult population in Australia do not have adequate literacy skills for everyday life and work.

The South Australian Government has released Making Literacy Everybody’s Business. Report and Action Plan, September 2008. The full report is available on )

Online resources: Audio

A Learning Society
Study Circles (Australia) and Everyday Democracy (USA)

So what is a Study Circle? It is ”a small, diverse group of 5 to 12 participants who meet for about 2 hours weekly for 4 to 6 weeks (a 'round of study circles'), to address a critical public issue in a democratic and collaborative way. Led by a neutral facilitator, people consider an issue from many points of view. A Discussion Guide allows the participants to progress their conversation from personal experiences, to sessions that examine many points of view on the issue, to a session that considers strategies for action and change. The term 'study circle', 'learning circle' and other derivations are often used to describe a range of approaches to small group discussions.” Quotation taken from

A similar Study Circle movement in the USA now operates under the name Everyday Democracy. Recently in Perth for the 2008 National Conference of Adult Learning Australia, Learning Works producer/presenter Tony Ryan spoke with Dr Mark Brophy from the Australian Study Circles Network, and to two visitors from the USA, Martha McCoy, Executive Director of Everyday Democracy, and Dr Patrick Scully, Deputy Director of Everyday Democracy, about how the two organizations work to encourage strategies for “action and change” in their respective countries. See also

Online resources: Audio

Tony Ryan
Mobile: 0408 883 334

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