What is the baseline knowledge for embedding literacy and numeracy?


Is it possible to outline a set of baseline skills and knowledge for embedding literacy and numeracy into vocational and other training? I think it is. My context here is New Zealand trades and vocational training, but I think that this applies in other contexts and countries as well.

I’m going to expand on this at a later stage, but for us in New Zealand delivering training at levels 1 to 3 on our curriculum framework implies that literacy and numeracy is embedded… this is just by definition of the fact that it’s low level training.

All trades and vocational trainers, tutors, teachers and others need a certain baseline of skills and knowledge to do this. These tutors,are, by and large, defined by the following characteristics.

  • Not academic
  • Suspicious of anything academic
  • Practical
  • Relational
  • Used to working with their hands

Tutors and trainers like this need professional development that is practical and responsive to what they already know. They are, after all, already subject experts in their own fields. They don’t need to be turned into literacy and numeracy rocket scientists.

They do need certain baseline skills and knowledge. Our friends at LiteracyNumeracyPro.com designed the simple info graphic illustrating this post to show what we see as the seven essential knowledge areas for tutors, trainers and others involved in embedding literacy and numeracy

This graphic does a great job of bringing together two different frameworks. One is the Three Knowings framework used by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in their resources and materials. The other framework is our interpretation of the one used by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) in the design of unit standards and qualifications for professional development in the field of adult literacy and numeracy education (ALNE).

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