If you remember back to the first assessment for the NZCALNE, you’ll recall that we introduced a framework for literacy and numeracy called the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.
In these next modules, we look at how you can use the Learning Progressions to analyse your teaching material.
What are literacy and numeracy demands?
In our embedded approach, the idea is that you don’t need to go and add a bunch of literacy and numeracy to your programme because it’s already there. The real issue is that this literacy and numeracy content is not always visible. It’s often “under the radar”.
Some of the literacy and numeracy content that’s already in your course material is tough for your learners. It can be tough for them because it’s new, because it’s not explained, or because you’ve assumed that they already know it.
We refer to this tough content as the demands of your teaching programme.
Here are a couple of examples of literacy demands.
- Learning new technical jargon for a job or trade.
- Reading and understanding a complicated set of instructions.
Here are some numeracy demands:
- Taking accurate measurements.
- Doing a calculation.
Knowing the demands
The Learning Progressions are the tool we use to help us figure out how easy or hard these demands are. This is called “knowing the demands”.
The progressions are also the tool we use to figure out where our learners are at. This is called “knowing the learner”. We’ll come back to this idea of knowing the learner when we look at diagnostic assessment in Collection 5.
Once we know what the demands are, and where our learners are at in this framework, the progressions also give us a hand to figure out what we should do next. This is the third knowing… “knowing what to do” and relates to the teaching component of this course – Collection 6.
What is mapping?
In the modules that follow, we’ll show you how to use the progressions as a tool to identify important literacy and numeracy demands in the material that you need to teach. The process is what we call mapping the demands.
For our purposes, we’re only interested in what we call “best guess” mapping. This means that we’re not going to get too bogged down in the details. We want to use the progressions as a tool for getting a quick estimate of the demands.
What we really want is for you to start to internalise the way the system works. Try and get a feel for it. Don’t worry about splitting hairs.