Talking about NZ’s embedded literacy and numeracy approach with Indonesian vocational teachers at AUT

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Recently, I had the tremendous privilege and pleasure of spending a day at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) talking about literacy and numeracy with a group of vocational teachers and tutors from Indonesia.

The group was large. The image above shows half of the team and I need to paste in a second photo below so you can see the other half. Here we go…

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My sincere thanks to Dr Adrian Schoone at AUT for inviting me to join these teachers for a day in their busy schedule. Adrian also deserves credit for the two photos above.

These vocational teachers and other support staff were here on a two-week study tour in October looking at how we teach trades and vocational education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

And as part of our introductions and whakawhanaungatana (getting to know each other), I asked them all to place themselves on a giant map I had projected on the wall.

As you can see below, they came from all over Indonesia – from the West to the East.

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For my part, it was a brief and hopefully fun introduction to literacy, numeracy and the embedded approach that we’ve developed here over the last 10 years.

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We had a play with some of the online tools that we have in New Zealand for literacy and numeracy as well. Luckily, AUT had a computer lab big enough to house us all for an hour or so.

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My students for the day were friendly, engaged and worked hard to transcend some of the language barriers between us.

One of the most interesting things for me was realising how integral approaches from Te Ao Māori are now to any discussion I want to have about this work.

Concepts like ako and tuakana-teina seemed to really resonate with the group and their own cultures.

In fact, some had questions about how they could incorporate aspects of their own indigenous ways of knowing and being into their teaching practice.

Just on that note, according to Wikipedia:

  • there are over 300 ethnic groups speaking more than 700 living languages across the vast Indonesian archipelago.

So these weren’t questions I felt could readily answer, but hopefully, they will open a door to further positive discussion back home.

This, in turn, should feed into the work these excellent teachers are doing to invigorate and reinvigorate vocational education in Indonesia.

Overall, it was an excellent day,  I loved spending time with this group and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

To my new friends and colleagues:

  • Assalam ‘alaikum. I wish you all the best with your work in Indonesia and hope our paths cross again at some stage.

 

 

Swimming the River: Family Impact on Education

This is an Aboriginal perspective on education. It’s a great metaphor. And there are clear links to similar discussions we have here on the same topics.

It’s just over 5 minutes long and great food for thought. Hat tip: Rachel Bulliff.

Let me know any thoughts or comments.

Free prize inside (if you come to my workshop on Thursday at the LN Symposium)

Maori Cards

This is a limited edition set of photo-cards that we made up a few years ago. I had them reprinted recently and I’ve got a bunch to give away on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s unlikely that we’ll reprint these again.

It’s small image on your screen, but each card is the size of a regular postcard.

They’re pretty cool… We use them as a resource to get people talking about Maori literacy and numeracy. The photographs are amazing and you’ll get a sense of traditional and contemporary aspects of Maori literacy and numeracy come together in the present.

We’ll give away a free set to every person who comes along to Graeme’s workshop at the LN Symposium on Thursday. We might ask you for your email address so we can contact you about the NZDipALNE when it’s ready…

If you can’t make it to the workshop then find me during the two days and ask me for a set anyway.

 

Please support the new Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education qualifications

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Well… they’re out for consultation. Here’s the breakdown from the NZQA website. This is just out and it’s now in the public domain for consultation.

Key points first: Please support the need for three distinct ALNE qualifications. These are

  1. the 40 credit NZCALNE (Voc) which replaces the NCALNE (Voc).
  2. the 80 credit NZCALNE (Ed) which replaces the NCALNE (Ed).
  3. the 120 credit NZDipALNE which replaces the NDipALNE

We think it’s going to be a coherent framework. Details still need to be fleshed out however…

The 120 credit Diploma still has some question marks attached. We think there is both a need and a demand. Please show your support for this in the comment section in the online NZQA survey which you can complete here.

Here’s how the qualifications break down. I’m pasting in from the NZQA documents:

New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) Level 5 – (40 Credits)

This qualification is for existing practitioners who seek to develop the literacy and numeracy skills of adult learners within the context of a training or education programme.

Graduates will have applied knowledge, skills and attributes required to embed literacy and numeracy into vocational or workplace programmes.

This qualification supports the New Zealand government strategy of developing the literacy and numeracy of adults.

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

Design (10 credits)

  • Design embedded literacy and numeracy strategies to enhance learner outcomes in a vocational or workplace programme with consideration of New Zealand’s unique context.
    • Notes: This outcome includes practice informed by historical, political and organisational contexts. Consideration will be given to add these to the qualification specifications, at the next stage of the review process.

Deliver (20 credits)

  • Foster an environment which gives primacy to learners and their learning.
    • Notes: Environment includes a values-based framework that respects: the mana and diverse cultural backgrounds of learner, the Treaty, the unique characteristics of adult learners as individuals (including literacy and numeracy skills) and what they bring to their learning, collegiality with colleagues, professional relationships with learners, … This outcome is not to be assessed separately but in conjunction with assessment of other outcomes.)
  • Apply embedded literacy and numeracy strategies in a vocational or workplace programme with consideration of New Zealand’s unique context

Assess and Evaluate (10 credits)

  • Use assessment and moderation of literacy and numeracy processes to enhance student learning.
  • Evaluate own practice to improve learner achievement through embedding literacy and numeracy.

New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Educator)
Level 5 – (80 Credits)

This qualification is for educators who seek to develop specialist expertise in adult literacy and numeracy education.

Graduates will have broad applied knowledge, skills and attributes required to apply a literacy and numeracy framework to a range of teaching and learning contexts.

This qualification supports the New Zealand government strategy of developing the literacy and numeracy of adults.

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

Design (30 credits)

  • Design for learning to meet diverse literacy and numeracy needs of learners in a range of contexts.
    • Notes: This outcome includes practice informed by education theories, Māori literacy and numeracy concepts, approaches and frameworks, and current trends and research. Consideration will be given to add these to the qualification specifications, at the next stage of the review process.

Deliver (30 credits)

  • Foster an environment which gives primacy to learners and their learning.
    • Notes: Environment includes a values-based framework that respects: the mana and diverse cultural backgrounds of learner, the Treaty, the unique characteristics of adult learners as individuals (including literacy and numeracy skills) and what they bring to their learning, collegiality with colleagues, professional relationships with learners, … This outcome is not to be assessed separately but in conjunction with assessment of other outcomes.)
  • Select and apply adult literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and activities to meet learner needs.

Assess and Evaluate (15 credits)

  • Select and use assessment processes to identify specific literacy and numeracy learner needs and strengths.
  • Evaluate own adult literacy and numeracy practice using a range of sources for continuous improvement.

Collaboration (5 credits)

  • Collaborate with other education professionals to enhance literacy and numeracy outcomes.

New Zealand Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education Level 6 – (120 Credits)

This qualification is for experienced educators who aspire to a leadership role in adult literacy and numeracy education.

Graduates will have in depth applied knowledge, skills and attributes required to be effective in a leadership role within adult literacy and numeracy education

This qualification supports the New Zealand government strategy of developing the literacy and numeracy of adults. Graduates will be able to inform organisational change and capability in adult literacy and numeracy education.

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

Literacy and Numeracy Skills Development (30 credits)

  • Design for learning to meet diverse literacy and numeracy needs of learners in a range of dynamic contexts.
  • Analyse the learning environment in order to implement literacy and numeracy interventions and improve professional practice.

Issues, Theories and Trends (30 credits)

  • Analyse the educational environment in relation to literacy and numeracy issues, theories, trends and research as a basis for informing own and others’ decision making, innovation and change.
  • Utilise theory- based literature to investigate factors of Te Ao Māori to improve literacy and numeracy practice.

Lead (60 credits)

  • Analyse the learning environment in order to implement literacy and numeracy interventions and improve professional practice
  • Notes: Literacy intervention = 30 credits. Numeracy intervention = 30 credits

“Weaving” versus “tools for your toolbox” as metaphors for embedding literacy and numeracy

embedding = weaving

I’ve talked about metaphors before here. But I just wanted to add a few thoughts. My thinking behind this is that when I working with tutors, I often want to describe what we do in terms of something else that I think they already understand.

Since starting this work in 2007 the main metaphor that I’ve used is the “tools for your toolbox” approach. This metaphor works for trades because trades people use physical tools and they get it when I talk about teaching approaches, strategies, and activities as literacy and numeracy “tools” that go in their bigger “toolbox” of education and training tools.

But we also talk about embedding literacy and numeracy in terms of weaving. This metaphor comes from the world of Maori education. I wish it was original to me but it’s totally not. I’ve heard it used by many different Maori educators in different contexts and I’ve started using it myself.

It works really well. For one thing, it feels kind of organic. This is important, especially for educators who are looking for meaning outside of the more academically focused western intellectual model of mainstream education.

Another thing about the weaving metaphor is that it allows people to think of their teaching and training as a kind of real object with these mixed threads woven through it. On the one hand there are the the threads relating to content and context. And on the other, there are another set of threads relating to literacy and numeracy.

This thinking also underlies the Maori early childhood curriculum, Te Whariki which takes the woven flax mat as a metaphor.

Finally, by thinking of the embedding process, educators can see how they are also weaving other things through their training – often in addition to the literacy and numeracy which should now be business as usual. And here I’m thinking specifically of the Kaupapa Maori value system that really drives Maori and other educators working in this space.

For those new to this kind of thinking, if you see these values (wellbeing, contribution, belonging, language, exploration, for e.g.) as a further thread running though your training and interactions, you can do what we do with the literacy and numeracy. This is to make it explicit to your learners, have great conversations with them about it, and explicitly embed the value system.

I’m not saying that learners can’t learn these values or thrive in this kind of environment when they are more implicit, but our foundations-focused learners really need these values and given the chance can learn them explicitly. Just like with literacy and numeracy.

So there you go. Get the value system out of stealth mode as well and onto the radar.

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Exporting the NZ’s baseline knowledge and skills for embedding literacy and numeracy

NZ-Educated-smallI’ve been excited about this before… Usually, my elation is crushed by some annoying practical reality of funding or compliance.

However, a new set of draft NZQA rules may make it possible for us to export NZ’s baseline knowledge and skills for embedding literacy and numeracy. I think there is a market for it, especially using frameworks for integrating indigenous pedagogies.

I got the NZQA draft rules by email. There’s a link to the NZQA page for consultation but this particular set of rules wasn’t there when I checked it. Hopefully, by the time you read this NZQA will have updated the online list.

If you want to see the document and the link doesn’t work, leave a message below and I’ll forward it to you. There’s a couple of key things from my side:

  • One relates to the titles of the qualifications (Page 3): I would prefer option 2, i.e. “Adult Literacy Education & Consulting (ALEC) Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace).” Even though the qualification title is quite longwinded, adding our company name would increase opportunities to tie into our brand and link the training directly to us and our reputation. Having a list of countries (Option 1) would immediately limit the export opportunities and actively exclude and discourage interest from potential students.
  • The other relates to Offshore Delivery rules (Page 4): This is still not clear for me. I want to deliver the international version of my course 100% by distance using online learning via interactive modules, video lessons (like Kahn Academy), some online and print-based media and then assess portfolio evidence that the candidates submit electronically. I anticipate that any interested parties will be completing the work while they are also working part or full time and will be geographically dispersed around the world in mostly English-speaking countries. At no point am I considering opening an overseas campus in any particular location. My niche is rather small, but big enough as long as I don’t have to be constrained by the geography. Course delivery would be online from NZ. Candidates for assessment could live and work anywhere. My reading of the offshore delivery is that the scenario in mind is at a physical location in a foreign country. I’d like some clarification around this if possible.
I’d really like to support this in the strongest way possible. 
I have a very clear idea of what I want to do and I’d like to be able to do this within the NZQA framework. If these rules are a match for how I want to redevelop my product for international export I would be happy to submit it to the NZQA for approval in the very near future if you are looking for a test case, or an NZQA-friendly provider to work with in developing these rules further.
Any thoughts…?

Maori Literacy and Numeracy – NCALNE (Voc)

I’ve started using Camtasia 2 again on my Mac to record short video clips containing some of the content for the NCALNE (Voc) qualification that we deliver. It’s definitely been better this time around (despite losing a day yesterday mistakenly deleting the temporary files that I was using).

Anyway, here’s the result. I’ll probably redo everything again at some later stage, but for now I’m just trying to assemble some minimally viable video content for the web. Here’s part 1 and 2 below. Please add your thoughts in the comments

How to embed literacy and numeracy in less than 3 minutes

Just to be clear, this post is meant to be something that you can read in less than three minutes. It takes longer than that to embed literacy and numeracy into your trades or vocational training.

Embedding literacy and numeracy is not rocket science though and you can get your head around the basic idea of what to do really quickly. Here’s the framework that we use to teach people how to embed literacy and numeracy:

LNPro Embedding Literacy and Numeracy Infographic

  1. Context: You need to understand the context in which you work. Find out more about your teaching context nationally, locally, and in terms of your industry, trade, or specialist teaching area. For us, this is the New Zealand Context.
  2. Good teaching: You need to understand the basics of good teaching. Good teachers and trainers have always embedded literacy and numeracy. Sometimes though it just flies under the radar. Identify good teaching practice relating to literacy and numeracy content and make it explicit. We deal with this aspect of our course by looking at approaches and methods from indigenous Maori education.
  3. Mapping: You need to identify the skill gaps that your learners have. This means that you have to identify your intended outcomes for literacy and numeracy. This is the level of proficiency that you expect – not the actual reality. Do this in terms of the broad brushstrokes of your training as well as for specific samples of key training resources and materials. We use the Learning Progressions for this.
  4. Diagnostic: You need to have processes and tools for identifying the actual literacy and numeracy skill levels of your learners. We also use the Learning progressions for this as well. You want to know the difference between the context specific literacy and numeracy demands of your training AND what you learners can do. That’s how you identify the gaps.
  5. Embedding LN: Once you’ve worked out where the gaps are you are then ready to do something about them. This is where you need to create your own targeted and very specific embedded literacy and numeracy learning outcomes. Plan the LN skills training you need to do and then do it. The more interactive the better.
  6. Assessing progress: After you have delivered your embedded LN training around the very narrow and specific skill areas you identified for your learners you will need to assess them again. This is to see if they have made any progress. Test –> Teach –> Test is the basic idea here.
  7. Evaluating effectiveness: Finally, you need to work out whether your teaching interventions have made a difference and are worth repeating or scaling up. Reflect critically on your teaching strategies, learning activities, assessment methods, delivery and plan what you want to do next.

That’s it… Let me know what you think in the comments.

Internationalising and exporting NZ’s literacy and numeracy professional development via the NCALNE (Voc)

Changes to qualifications

In order to export New Zealand’s unique professional development, training and credentials relating to literacy and numeracy we need to first internationalise the key qualifications. This means some changes to both of the qualifications. Here are my ideas for dealing with the NCALNE (Voc):

Dealing with Unit Standard 21204: Develop adult learners’ literacy and numeracy skills within a workplace training or education programme

This is a big unit standard worth 30 credits at level 5 and makes up the heart of the qualification.

  • Either: the unit standard needs to be broken in half with one half (Elements 1 – 2) dealing with the contextual content and the other half dealing with the more generic delivery side of things. This would mean the development of two new unit standards: One for the NZ Environment and the other for the International Environment. The content of these could be set up in parallel.
  • Or: Elements 1 and 2 need to be revised internally to allow for a focus on the NZ environment or an international environment depending on the candidate’s particular country of origin or where they are working. This would require some new wording in some of the elements, performance criteria, and range statements. The simplest way to do this would be to add words like the following to the existing statements: “Or other multicultural learning environment for adults”. Or variations on the theme.

My second option above is probably the simplest as it doesn’t require the development of other unit standards.

Here then is my draft of a revised version of Element 1 that would allow a New Zealand or International approach. Changes to the original in bold.

Element 1

Describe adult literacy and numeracy in Aotearoa New Zealand or another country in relation to the training or education programme

Performance criteria

1.1 Description includes an outline of adult literacy and numeracy to the present.

Range outline includes but is not limited to – Māori or other cultural group’s literacy and numeracy pre-colonisation, Māori or other cultural group’s literacy and numeracy initiatives, issues post-colonisation, literacy and numeracy issues, initiatives for learners from other cultures.

1.2 Description includes an outline of the development of adult literacy and numeracy initiatives that relate to learners in the programme.

1.3 Description includes a comparison of four adult literacy and numeracy definitions currently used in Aotearoa New Zealand or or other multicultural adult learning environment.

Range definitions include – one for Māori from either Te Kawai Ora or Professor Mason Durie’s speech 2001 to the Hui Taumata Mātauranga Māori or for another cultural group, one for embedded literacy, one for numeracy, one other adult literacy definition.

1.4 Description includes a discussion of reasons for low adult literacy and numeracy levels in Aotearoa New Zealand or another country as applicable. 

1.5 Description includes a discussion of the impact of low adult literacy and numeracy levels in Aotearoa New Zealand or another country as applicable. 

1.6 Description includes identification of resources appropriate and relevant to learners within the programme.

Range resources may include but are not limited to – two adult literacy and/or numeracy specialist organisations and their services in Aotearoa New Zealand or another country.

Element 2 is a bit more complicated… Not sure where to go with that one, but the opportunity is there for educators in other countries to look at what we’ve done in New Zealand with approaches and concepts from Maori education and see how other indigenous forms of knowledge and ways of teaching can inform teaching and training in general.

I’m sure the outcomes for learners would be better. Let me know what you think in the comments.