DEMANDS – New Content for the new NZCALNE Assessment 3 with ALEC


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Kia ora ano and welcome back

You’re up to the third assessment task in the new and improved NZCALNE (Voc). Kai pai you…!

We’re working hard to get all new content for this and other modules live on Pathways Awarua, but until then you can find the first draft here.

The new Assessment 3 still focuses on mapping the demands of your programme using the Learning Progressions. However, the format is simpler and easier to use.

There are six short sections to complete in the new assessment task.

  • What are the big picture literacy demands?
  • What are the big picture numeracy demands?
  • What are some specific reading demands?
  • What are some specific writing demands?
  • What are some specific number demands?
  • What are some specific measurement demands?

Follow the links below

If you already know what you’re doing with mapping, please skip ahead to the assessment template. Email us if you don’t already have it. You can always come back and dip into these resources as you need to.

Overview

The Learning Progressions

Looking at the big picture for literacy

Looking at the big picture for numeracy

Getting more specific

If you’re stuck, please reach out by email here: assess@alec.ac.nz or call Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2

Concepts: What is whakapapa?


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What is it?

Whakapapa refers to genealogy, history, stages of development, or layers.

Can we dig a little deeper?

Knowledge about who you are (identity) and where you come (background) from are integral to Māori approaches to education

Whakapapa helps connect people to knowledge about the world through stories.

Also, everything has a whakapapa, not just people. Everything comes from somewhere. The story of where something or someone comes from is whakapapa.

How does this help describe a learner-centred teaching environment?

This helps describe a learner-centred teaching environment because for Māori and many others, whakapapa is always the starting place. Whakapapa means that the learners are central to the learning from the beginning.

Whakapapa is also both a noun and a verb. This means that as well as describing someone’s background or genealogy, it’s also something you have to actively do.

Learners’ cultures are important. This extends beyond Māori and Pakeha as well. Learning to whakapapa your own and other histories opens you up as a whole person and helps create relationship and connections. You can use whakapapa as an education tool to help others:

  • Make connections to people, the environment, and things.
  • Understand history and human relationships
  • Explore different viewpoints and ways of understanding.

We often use the “Wh” words (Who, What, When, Where, Why) as a quick way of teaching the basics of an inquiry process for learning. Whakapapa is another “Wh” word that we could add to this set.

In fact, whakapapa sums up all of these words and provides a great tool for framing any learning.

Exploring the whakapapa of something, e.g. a subject, a discipline, an object, a person, a group of people, an organisation, or your own genealogy allows you to actually deal with all of the “Wh” words and to investigate the relationships between the parts and the whole.

What’s your starting point with a new group of learners?

  1. How do you whakapapa with your learners in your teaching context?
  2. What’s something that you teach, that would be interesting to whakapapa?

Teach better: How should we look at teaching and learning?


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Introducing Approaches

In these next modules, we look at some of the approaches and concepts used in adult teaching.

Here are a few things you need to know first. Feel free to skip ahead if you want.

What’s a teaching approach?

  • When we talk about teaching, an approach is simply a way of looking at teaching and learning.

Teaching approaches lead to teaching methods, which is the way you teach something. And this involves using activities, strategies, or techniques to help learners learn.

What’s a teaching concept?

A concept is an idea. In this case, it’s an idea about teaching or learning. For us, it’s related to adult literacy and numeracy.

We want you to know some of the key ideas about teaching and learning that relate to your work in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Why are we talking about this?

Any approach to teaching and learning has some theory sitting behind it. This includes the work that you do.

But we’re not going to get deep into education theory. Our goal is this… For you to:

  • Know some of the terminology.
  • Have a working understanding of what the words mean.

This is a big topic, but we’ve picked key approaches and concepts that are relevant to adult literacy and numeracy in Aotearoa New Zealand.

At every point, what we’re most interested in is our thoughts and answers to this question:

  • How does this approach help us make our teaching more learner centred?

This means that it’s the practical application that we want you to focus on.

What’s the problem? Socio-economic factors


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There is a range of socio-economic factors associated with low levels of adult literacy and numeracy.

This includes things relating to education, income and occupation that have a negative influence on someone’s position in relation to others in society.

Sometimes this relates to the kind of home environment that a person grew up in. For example, the following kinds of home life are associated with low levels of literacy and numeracy.

A home environment:

  • That is chronically stressful. For example, if parents are distressed.
  • That is characterised by low literacy and numeracy. An example would include a home where there are few books or reading is not valued.
  • Where parents may be unable to afford resources such as books, computers, or extra tuition needed to create positive literacy and numeracy experiences.
  • Where parents have less time available to read to their children at younger ages or provide academic support as they get older.

The kind of school environment someone grew up in has an impact too. For example,

  • Schooling that doesn’t meet the needs of learners who struggle for various reasons.
  • Poorly trained or inexperienced teachers.

In terms of income and occupation, these factors below are often associated with low levels of adult literacy and numeracy.

  • Poverty or low incomes
  • Unemployment or underemployment.

Other factors sometimes include poor physical or mental health, or discrimination because of culture, religious or other reasons.

Some questions to think about

Again, it’s good to stop and think about the impact of these on your own learners. The questions below are not assessed, but thinking about your answers to them will help you with the assessment task.

  1. Can you identify any socio-economic factors affecting your own learners?
  2. If you think about your learners, is any of this their own fault?
  3. Make a list of what factors you can positively influence versus what is outside of your control.

Plain English Definitions for the Literacy Progressions


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I’ve started writing new course content for the new NZCALNE (Voc) – the latest version of our course. I want to revise the definitions that we use to talk about the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

The terminology is confusing for most people. And some of the existing definitions are not very helpful either.

Here’s a list of the literacy progressions below, with my plain English explanations. If this is something that you’re involved with using, either as a tutor or manager, I’d like some feedback.

I want to know if these make sense below. This is still a specialised area, but I’ve tried to use a limited vocabulary, active voice, and no adverbs.

Have I missed any critical aspects of the meanings? If yes, how can I add these without making it sound like rocket science? The audience is trades and vocational tutors who are non-experts in literacy and numeracy.

Here’s the list. Please direct any feedback to the comment section. Thanks…!

Vocabulary Knowing the meanings of words, how to use them, and how they relate to each other.
Language & Text Features Using and understanding language, texts, and parts of texts including speech.
Comprehension Understanding the messages, making connections with what you know, inferring meanings.
Listening Critically Understanding who is speaking and why. Aware of speakers’ purposes and points of view
Interactive Listening & Speaking Taking part in conversations and discussions. This includes taking turns, interrupting in a way that is appropriate and checking meanings.
Using Strategies to Communicate Getting ideas and information across to others in a way that is effective.
Decoding Knowing how to say written words out loud
Reading critically Understanding who wrote something, why, and for whom.
Purpose & Audience Having reasons and goals for writing. Knowing who you are writing for.
Spelling Writing words in a way that is correct and consistent.
Planning & Composing Deciding what to write about. Then recording ideas.
Revising & Editing Making changes and corrections to writing. The aim is that the writing is clear, meets your purpose and engages with the audience.

Where do I find the full versions of the Learning Progressions?


The TEC have decided that they will not print any more copies of the Learning Progressions resources. Nor do they have any plans to print them again.

Rather these are available online only now, and you can just use them as electronic documents or you can print them out yourself.

You can download the main books in the links below. These are each 1MB PDF files. There are also the double-page strand charts further down as well which would probably open up on your phone if needed.

Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy

Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy (PDF, 1 MB)

Strand charts and Guidebooks

Open Source Learning Progressions

And just as an interesting aside, the progressions are now licensed for re-use by the TEC under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence.

This means, in essence, we are free to copy, distribute and adapt these documents for non-commercial purposes, as long as we attribute them to the TEC and abide by the other licence terms.

And that means we could remix and potentially upgrade them… in other words, develop Learning Progressions 2.0. Anyone interested?

NCALNE (Voc): Essential But Not Sufficient


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Skip this post unless you manage foundation tutors or work as a tutor in the adult literacy and numeracy sector.

Here’s the question:

  • Will the NCALNE training help my organisation develop more mature embedded literacy and numeracy practices?

Here’s the answer:

  • Yes. It’s a great start. But it’s the beginning of the journey. Not the end.

The criteria above have been out for a couple of years now. And the NCALNE training and credentials will help your tutors and your organisation move from emergent practices, towards more mature embedded literacy and numeracy practices.

I’ll do a breakdown of this with more detail as to what and how at some stage. But that will be a different post.

Just remember: the NCALNE on its own is not a silver bullet. You need to have full organisations support to get the kind of mature practice that the TEC describe in the table above.

Some further ideas:

  • What about measuring literacy and numeracy gains over a much longer time period.
  • What about measuring changes in what tutors actually do?
  • Think about what milestones tutors have to reach before you start to see improvements in learner outcomes? For example, NCALNE (Voc) plus… stuff: resources, organisational support, ongoing professional development.

The table is here below if you’re looking for a PDF version to share or print.

Hat Tip: Thanks, Damon Whitten for the wording in the heading and some of the ideas here.