Discussion questions (And my answers) for the Revised Tertiary Landscape

summer_landscape-t1These are the discussion questions from the governance group at NZQA looking at the review of adult tertiary teaching qualifications at the moment. I’ve inserted my answers.

Discussion questions and prompts from the NZQA
The following questions are designed to prompt thinking and feedback as you consider the landscape and rationale.

1. To what extent does the proposed landscape adequately meet the qualification needs of the Adult and Tertiary Teaching workforce?

Actually, I think the draft landscape as described here does a pretty good job in the way that it’s framed up at present provided that the other specialist quals that don’t fit, like special needs etc, are addressed elsewhere.

I might change my mind on this, but for now I think that the proposed landscape including the Adult Tertiary Teaching, Assessment, Matauranga Maori, and Adult Literacy and Numeracy, would significantly meet the qualification needs of the workforce. I’d be  content professionally if the proposed landscape shapes up like this.

2. To what extent does the proposed landscape enable pathways to higher qualifications?

Again, providing the governance group doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel or let the vested interests of the polytechs hijack the process, there are some great pathways vertically within a particular area, and then horizontally all out to other areas including specialisation.

I could envisage a tutor undertaking the NZCALN (the next evolution of the NCALNE) and then branching out to one of the other three areas for more and deeper professional development as needed at Diploma level. These Diplomas could also provide a nice stepping stone into degree or other study at Bachelors level and beyond.

3. What is your opinion on the level 6 Diploma having a flexible credit value and being achievable with between two and four strands?

You haven’t said which Diploma, but assuming it’s the Adult Tertiary Teaching Diploma: Fine. The more flexibility and relevant strands the better. No problems here.

4. What are your thoughts on the proposed strands in the level 6 diploma?

Which one? Actually, I’m more interested in talking about the level 6 NZ Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy. I think that this needs two strands. One with a focus on the New Zealand context, and another more international multicultural strand.

And if you considered that, I’d really love it if you did the same thing with the NCALNE quals when they change to NZCALN. This would mean we could then export our totally amazing, world-shaping knowledge and experience around embedding literacy and numeracy to the rest of the world.

5. What are your thoughts on the needs for separate specialist qualifications in adult literacy and numeracy education at levels 5 and 6?

Thanks for asking. This is a key question. It is vitally important that we retain separate specialist qualifications for adult literacy and numeracy education at levels 5 and 6.

As the draft document notes, these quals are part of the TEC implementation strategy for literacy and numeracy. Reading between the lines here, I get the impression that the governance group and I’m guessing it’s perhaps those in the Polytech sector in particular would like to get rid of the specialist NCALNE quals.

Detractors will deny this, but some large organisations don’t want separate NCALNE or NZCALN qualifications for economic reasons.

Many have not retained their LN trained staff, have not taken full advantage of the TEC subsidised NCALNE and other LN professional development available to date, have been resistant to the national infrastructure that we now have for literacy and numeracy.

Collapsing an entire qualification like the NCALNE (Voc) into one course in the middle of a 60 credit adult teaching qualification would allow many organisations to continue to do what they’ve been doing, rather than trying to develop good tutors who possess the baseline knowledge and skills required for embedding literacy and numeracy into trades and vocational training AS WELL AS having some basic teaching and coaching skills.

If the governance group proposes to dismantle separate LN qualifications and integrate them into the revised Adult Tertiary Teaching qualifications I will counter propose that the opposite happens, i.e. that the adult tertiary teaching qualifications are discontinued and instead folded into the new NZCALN.

Likewise, any argument for disestablishing the separate literacy and numeracy quals can be made for any of the other areas. E.g. Why shouldn’t the Assessment qualification be collapsed into one of the other areas. Obviously, I don’t support or believe this, but the same arguments could be made.

6. What are your thoughts on the need for separate specialist qualifications in teaching Mātauranga Māori?

I’m not sure why this is even a question. Of course the tertiary landscape should have separate qualifications in teaching Mātauranga Māori. If there is any issue around low uptake, surely this is a separate issue. Why aren’t Wananga and other similar organisations supporting these qualifications?

7. What are your thoughts on the need for separate specialist qualifications in assessment?

See my answers above. Of course this area of specialisation needs it’s own specialist qualification. The proposed structure with these four areas nicely allows each area to have a particular specialisation while also allowing each area to dip into relevant aspects of the other.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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