5 Reasons Why You Need to Punch Literacy and Numeracy in the Face

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 01: Ronda Rousey of the United States punches Bethe Correia of Brazil in their bantamweight title fight during the UFC 190 Rousey v Correia at HSBC Arena on August 1, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey is my new hero and celebrity crush.

In case you don’t know, she’s a mixed martial artist, actress, and Olympic judoka who is currently undefeated in her field and the current consensus is that she’s the world’s most dominant athlete.

She’s strong, beautiful, and doesn’t take $!@# from anyone. She’s also a great role model for the women in my house (there are three of them).

Her story is inspiring and she’s just been pegged to star as herself in the movie of her excellent autobiography which I’ve just read (see: not biased in the slightest).

She’s totally crushing it in every field she’s in.

I’s a bit of jump, but that got me thinking: What would she do if she was in my field? I think the answer is that she’d probably punch literacy and numeracy right in the face.

It would be a KO in under 34 seconds. And she’d totally dominate the field. Forever.

But where are the Ronda Rouseys of education? Where is the next generation of olympic level, black belt literacy and numeracy judokas who are ready to get in the ring?

I don’t see them.

I mean… don’t get me wrong. We have a few champions and I meet people every week with plenty of potential and promise.

But really… where is the next generation of fighters in this field? Which brings me to the next point.

This could be you… You could be the next Ronda Rousey of education… or Bruce Lee of literacy and numeracy…!

Here’s five reasons why you need to get off the couch and punch literacy and numeracy right in the face:

  1. The literacy and numeracy sector is fragile. We could be wiped out if politicians and policy wonks eliminated our current funding streams. As a sector, what I see is fragmentation, politics and ego. Because of this there is no clear or strong leadership.
    • Implication: You could be the one to bring balance to the force. Do you have strong literacy and numeracy kung fu? You need to get in the ring.
  2. Experts and practitioners fail to agree on things that are basic to this work. For example, there is still massive confusion around what is meant by “embedding” literacy and numeracy.
    • Implication: Get out there and figure out what works. Then tell everyone about it.
  3. There is still a lack of engagement around the infrastructure that the TEC put in place several years ago including the Learning Progressions, the Assessment Tool, Pathways Awarua, and the entry level NCALNE (Voc) qualification.
    • Implication: Train hard. Use the tools. Become an expert. Teach others. Give away your expertise.
  4. The financial penalties for disregarding the TEC infrastructure are now apparent. We see these in clawbacks for failing to deliver LN related outcomes including in relation to the Assessment Tool, staff professional development, or inappropriate use of funding. Training organisations will be forced to close because of these penalties.
    • Implication: Find out what the compliance is in your area. Work out how to deliver the results that your organisation needs. This is hard. But figure it out and then do it…!
  5. As a sector, we can no longer pay lip service to compliance and funding requirements. If we care about our learners we must work together to create win-win solutions that allow us to teach, train and show measurable results, and comply with the bureaucracy, while retaining our values and special character (and funding streams).
    • Implication: Don’t sacrifice your special character. The “experts” have no idea why some things work and some things don’t in this field. It doesn’t matter that no one knows who you are at the moment. Get on with the job and find the solution that no one else can. Don’t forget to document what you do so you can repeat it.

Author: Graeme Smith

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

5 thoughts

  1. Ka-Pow! Great post Graeme, right on the nose. We all need to get out of our own way as a sector, and get working together on what works for learners.
    I’ll send you a link from Stuff shortly about the launch of Secure Online Learning in prisons – feel free to re-post it.

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