Pics courtesy Valda Jennings
Thanks to those presenters who have provided their files and agreed to share them.
Generally PowerPoint slides have been converted to PDF for ease of viewing and reduced file size, however some files are still quite large. Movie and video files may appear in various formats, as supplied.
Additional presentations will be added as they become available.
There is quite a lot happening in the Foundations Skills space and the various pieces of the jigsaw can be confusing for many. Luckily the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults brings all the pieces together. This presentation will outline how this strategy provides a coherent framework for action on Adult Literacy across four key areas:
quality of Adult Learning opportunities and outcomes
strengthening foundation skills in the workplace; and,
building capacity of the education and training workforce.
If you are interested in knowing what the Australian Government is doing for Adult Literacy, both for individuals and the workforce, you will want to attend this presentation.
Susan Devereux is the General Manager of the Foundation Skills Branch. This involves managing a range of policy and program responses aimed at improving the foundation skills of adult Australians, including a suite of programs tailored to the needs of jobseekers, employers and their employees and practitioner workforces. The branch is also responsible for the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults. Susan has worked in various departments including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and various iterations of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Family and Community Services. During this time she has worked on a range of social policy issues with a particular focus on labour market and employment policy and programs.
Anita Roberts, IBSA will provide an update of current resources and plans and how industry can connect with community LLN provision to create pathways. Focussing in particular on opportunities presented by the Foundation Skills Training Package and its emphasis on collaboration between vocational practitioners and LLN specialists.
Anita has worked within the VET system at the national level since 1995 and has extensive experience in LLN policy in the VET sector. She has co-ordinated a variety of LLN projects and authored a number of reports and publications on behalf of Industry Skills Councils. Anita has worked closely with Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) on many initiatives. She is the project co-ordinator for IBSA’s project to develop a Foundation Skills Training Package. Anita is also a member of the Victorian State Advisory Committee for the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program.
Jane is the Manager of Literacy Services at LINC Tasmania, a public provider of community learning, literacy, library and information services. Recently, Jane has led the implementation of key elements of the Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan 2010-15, including LINC Tasmania’s new literacy coordinator network. She is currently managing a program of projects to harness the collective efforts of business, community and government organisations to support a networked approach to adult literacy in Tasmania. This work includes a communications strategy to raise community awareness about adult literacy, the benefits of literacy skills and how and where to access support. Before joining the public service 10 years ago, Jane worked in the VET and higher education sectors, including as a researcher with the University of Tasmania, project officer with the National Employment and Training Taskforce and HR Manager with a leading Tasmanian manufacturer and enterprise-based RTO.
Dr Pat Strauss, Associate Professor, Auckland University of Technology, will join with the speakers to discuss and question.
Pat is the co-programme leader of the Masters of Literacy and Numeracy Education at AUT University in New Zealand. She has been involved in teaching various literacies to students from foundation level to those enrolled on postgraduate programmes. She is particularly interested in the institutional positioning of literacy practitioners working at all levels in further and higher education, and the way in which this positioning impacts on their practice.
Pat is also a key note speaker at the conference.
His Excellency The Honourable Peter Underwood AC Governor of Tasmania and Mrs Underwood
VET + LLN = Together Forever
Presentation PowerPoint (converted to PDF)
Presentation notes (with PowerPoint slides marked in text)
The introduction of the Foundation Skills Training Package has the potential to bring significant change to the delivery of vocational education and training (VET). Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) believe that the new training package will encourage and enable greater collaboration between VET practitioners and LLN specialists – and increased attention to the skill development needs of individual learners. Many factors will impact on the successful implementation of the Foundation Skills Training Package; among them are practitioner awareness, resource availability and workforce capability. To aid the implementation process IBSA has created an online resource that will provide advice, practical examples and tools to support use by a diverse range of potential users. IBSA hopes that the resource will continue to grow and develop, bringing together contributions based on the experiences of users across the sectors. Anita has worked within the vocational education and training system at the national level since 1995 and has extensive experience in language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) policy in the VET sector. She has co-ordinated a variety of LLN projects and authored a number of reports and publications on behalf of Industry Skills Councils.
Anita Roberts has worked closely with Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) on many initiatives including commercial resource developments, professional development activities, scoping for qualifications and skill sets, and three environment scans. She is currently the project co-ordinator for IBSA’s project to develop a Foundation Skills Training Package. Anita is also a member of the Victorian State Advisory Committee for the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program.
Sally Thompson, Adult Learning Australia
Purposeful engagement with other adults is a first principle of adult learning theory and at the heart of adult literacy development, yet year after year Australia's policy approach to adult literacy creates practice that is more abstracted, more narrowly defined and more closely aligned to punitive 'stick and carrot' welfare reform. In contrast, for the last decade or more, the countries of the European Union, despite economic pressures, have pursued Lifelong learning policies that recognise learning outside the classroom as well as in, and that one size can never fit all. This workshop will outline the challenge of re-aligning Australian public policy to recognise the realities of how adults learn.
Sally Thompson is the CEO of Adult Learning Australia. She is a former President of VALBEC and current member of the Victorian ACFE Board. Sally spends her working life pursuing ALA's mission for equitable access to Lifelong and Lifewide learning for All Australians, sometimes with passion, occasionally with despair but always with a belief in the transformational nature of learning.
Geri Pancini, Victoria University; Rob McCormack, Victoria University
This session will consider key issues driving the development of learning for work including the changing workplace and along with it the different kinds of knowledge that underpin modern workplaces. The session will consider the three types of knowledge associated with learning for work and their learning metaphors and pedagogies. An example of a workplace initiative will be presented to highlight the some of issues in learning for work.
Geri Pancini is a Research Fellow in the Work-based Education Research Centre at Victoria University and the current President of ACAL. Rob McCormack works in Language and Learning Support at Victoria University.
Renate Hughes, Glenorchy City Council; Jill Sleiters, Glenorchy City Council
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. (Source: http://www.unesco.org./en/literacy)
This workshop will review and report on the development and progress of an innovative partnership project in the Glenorchy Local Government Area (LGA) to deliver a range of individual and group learning opportunities for young mothers and their children at a local level, alongside family literacy programs and activities. These programs were tailored to meet the needs of young mums aged 17-25 years of age who were living in the Glenorchy community. Key partners in the project were the Glenorchy LINC, Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service (CRS), Mission Australia and St Vincent de Paul. The model has already been adopted and adapted by other LINC’s and a number of NGO’s in the last 6 months, reflecting the strong partnerships between services, as reflected in the conference theme of Connect, Co-operate and Create.
The STF project is led by Renate Hughes, the Social Planning Officer of Glenorchy City council and Jill Sleiters, the Community Development Officer of Glenorchy City Council. Renate and Jill have a shared background in teaching, community development, youth work, children’s services and early learning. Renate has recently worked on other youth and community projects including young people and binge drinking, gambling, youth recreation and youth justice and is involved in the re development of the Glenorchy Community Plan. Jill has recently finalised the Glenorchy Children and Families Strategy and hosts a number of community networks such as GAIN and events such as Families, Week and Dad’s Day Out, in partnership with the Glenorchy LINC and a wide range of local community and health services.
Sue Paull, Diamond Valley Learning Centre; Frida Dean, Diamond Valley Learning Centre
English spelling is a rock in the road for many people and prevents them achieving their goals and reaching their potential. This common stumbling block creates unwelcome detours that limit people’s ability to communicate and connect with others in many aspects of everyday life. Difficulties with spelling can make people feel like the odd piece of the puzzle; the bit that doesn’t fit.
At DVLC, we have recently published a Spelling Guide designed for adult and secondary school students with an Australian or ESL background. This practical book offers a clear compass to navigate the challenges of English spelling and build confidence in writing. It can assist in chipping away at that rock in the road and remove barriers to participation and connection. In the workshop we would like to describe the rationale and development of the Spelling Guide, demonstrate its use and discuss a variety of approaches to teaching spelling.
Sue Paull is a teacher and the Adult Literacy/ESL Coordinator at the Diamond Valley Learning Centre in northern Melbourne. Initially she taught in primary schools, and for the past 20 years has taught adult literacy and ESL classes at CAE, TAFE and community education providers.
Frida Dean is a teacher at Diamond Valley Learning Centre. Before moving into adult education, Frida had over 20 years experience teaching literacy in primary schools. She has been an adult literacy and ESL teacher for more than 15 years, having taught at RMIT and other community providers.
Sue and Frida are co-authors of the Spelling Guide.
Martina Bovell, Australian Council for Educational Research
This presentation examines how closely a machine can replicate the scores awarded by two human markers on a writing assessment for adult learners in the Vocational and Training setting. The approach taken to develop an online automated writing assessment tool consisting of two short writing tasks which were scored by human markers using a criterion-referenced analytic rating scale linked to the ACSF is described. The human scores were fed into software to develop an automated scoring model for use on new scripts. The automated system generates instant reports that provide immediate summative and formative information, referenced to the ACSF, about individual and group performance. The presentation seeks to answer such questions as How effective is a machine at replicating the scores of human markers? Are there differences in its effectiveness across different task types and across different criteria? What are the drawbacks of machine scoring of writing? How can teachers of literacy use this tool wi their adult learners?
Martina Bovell is a Senior Research Fellow at the Perth Office of the Australian Council for Educational Research. She is an experienced Writing test developer and has developed a number of criterion-referenced analytic writing rubrics. She was part of a team that developed the New Zealand Adult Literacy Assessment tool, commissioned by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), and she managed the joint NZCER and ACER automated writing service for schools (eWrite). She has conceptualised and conducted standard setting exercises, working with WA and NZ school documents and with the ACSF.
Michelle Circelli, National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Language, literacy and numeracy are critical for greater workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion. Being able to measure people’s skill levels, and any changes in this, is important for getting a sense of how well language, literacy and numeracy programs are working for learners. The federal government uses the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALLS) survey to measure an outcome in the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development. But this data is only obtained every 10 years and is a relatively coarse summary of the literacy and numeracy skills of the population. The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) is also used to provide information on adults’ literacy and numeracy skills in a range of contexts. In contrast to the ALLS, the ACSF provides information about learner progress at the individual level and can be obtained at far more frequent intervals. Both the ALLS and ACSF however have five performance levels and it is sometimes assumed that these levels are equivalent. But are they? To address this, an on-line survey was undertaken to examine the issue of equivalence. This presentation will report on the findings from the survey and the potential implications for practitioners and policy-makers alike.
Michelle Circelli is a Senior Research Officer with the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Michelle currently manages commissioned research covering topics such as the literacy and numeracy practices of production workers, the numeracy skills of literacy and numeracy practitioners, and the role of vocational education and training in labour market outcomes for individuals. Michelle's interest in the adult literacy and numeracy area stems from having previously managed the Adult Literacy Research Program.
Gail Kirkland, Wellington Institute of Technology
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This study describes the development and implementation of a contextualised literacy foundation intervention, designed to meet the needs of those students entering an engineering degree programme. Language work is integrated into the course in the form of contextualised literacy events designed to enhance the acquisition of the language required for Engineering. Data has been collected on the writing generated in this project based course where students are expected to produce work in typical genres of writing appropriate to the engineering profession. An analysis of this writing allows us to see the effect of the discipline-based literacy development and the extent to which students are inducted into the engineering profession. The knowledge gained from this study will inform future discipline-based language interventions across our Institute.
Gail Kirkland is Head of School for Foundation Studies and Adult Education at Wellington Institute of Technology. She has recently managed a number of educational projects involving the embedding of literacy and numeracy in vocational programme.
Sue-Ellen Evans, Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council
The workshop will outline the need to encourage the theme that Literacy is everybody's business! For a long time Literacy has been too often been the business of a small group of Literacy professionals. It is time that the Literacy expertise was broadened and that industry became responsible for taking care of Literacy needs. In the Aged care industry peak bodies and organisations themselves have a need to work within a 'LLN culture'. This will include taking on the supervisor Literacy qualifications being developed by IBSA, encouraging a number of staff to complete their Graduate Certificate in Language Literacy and Numeracy, embracing principles of Plain English as an organisation. This workshop will showcase case studies where this is happening, the successes and the pitfalls.
Sue-Ellen Evans has worked in Adult Literacy since 1982 as an Adult Literacy Officer and a Literacy Numeracy Teacher. Sue-Ellen has co ordinated and worked on WELL programs. Sue-Ellen ran consultations for CSHISC regarding the Foundation Skills Training Package in 2011 and now works as a WELL broker for Aged Care. In this role Sue-Ellen has witnessed first hand the need to encourage more people to become involved in LLN in the community and the workplace.
Trisha Hanifin, Unitec New Zealand, Te Whare Wananga o Wairaka
In their seminal book, Learning How to Learn, Joseph Novak and Bob Gowin (1984) introduced the Vee heuristic, a conceptual tool to help teachers and learners understand how knowledge is constructed. Although it was originally developed to help students solve science problems, it can be adapted to suit other educational areas including adult literacy. In particular, it has a useful role in guiding the professional development of adult literacy, foundational and vocational tutors. In this presentation the Vee heuristic will be explored and examples of how it has been used to guide the design and delivery of a specific programme, The National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational and Workplace) will be shared. Its potential as a ‘big picture’ professional development tool will also be discussed.
Trisha Hanifin is a member of the Academic Literacies Team at Unitec NZ. She has worked in adult education and adult literacy for over twenty years, teaching learners and training tutors in a range of contexts, including community literacy, workplaces, pre-employment and vocational training programmes and foundation studies. Since 2002 Trisha has been involved in a number of advisory, development, research and training projects which have focused on understanding the professional development needs of adult literacy, vocational and foundation tutors. In her current role she supports vocational and foundation lecturers to embed literacy, language and numeracy into their programmes.
Digna Libera, Holmesglen TAFE
This session will look at how to use a project/thematic approach to integrate Literacy and Numeracy delivery and assessment. Thematic approach allows a balanced integration of the various CGEA modules for delivery and assessment as will be presented at this session. It will allow participants an opportunity to look at examples of a holistic thematic approach, think creatively and work in groups to plan student-centred projects.
Digna Libera is the Adult Literacy Coordinator at Holmesglen TAFE, Chadstone Campus. She has been involved in Language and Literacy Education for the last 10 years including ESL and adult literacy teaching. In addition she has taught primary and secondary students in Australia and Overseas for 10years. Digna is also a member of the VALBEC Committee and CGEA Champions group in Victoria. She has presented previously at two other CGEA PD days in Melbourne. She has completed Masters Degree in English Literature.
Rob McCormack, Victoria University; Geri Pancini, Victoria University
This workshop session will explain the 'Learning to Learn' principles behind the long running Return to Study course run by Geri Pancini and Rob McCormack, (as described in the two, now very hard-to-find, Learning to Learn books). Participants will break into groups and explore how they could adapt these principles to their own teaching situations. There will be a report-back so everyone can benefit from everyone else’s ideas.
Rob McCormack works in Language and Learning Support at Victoria University.
Geri Pancini is a Research Fellow in the Work-based Education Research Centre at Victoria University and the current President of ACAL.
Christine Tully, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE; Koula Lykourinos, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE
This session will show how NMIT is meeting the state government requirements to assess and assist VET students with their literacy and numeracy. This session will focus on assessment and support models and some of the success at NMIT as well as the challenges and opportunities encountered and around changing government requirements. This will be an interactive session with discussion and sharing of practices around Literacy and Numeracy assessment and support encouraged.
Koula Lykourinos is the coordinator of the Literacy and Numeracy assessment across NMIT. She has over 16 years experience in the fields of LLN and VET training having delivered and managed a range of programs across a wide variety of VET providers and industries. Koula's interests include LLN assessment and increasing the VET sector capacity to meet students' LLN needs.
Chris Tully has been working in the TAFE sector for over 21 years first as a numeracy and mathematics teacher and then in coordinating and delivering support programs to the VET sector. Chris is interested in addressing the literacy and numeracy requirements of students and in developing the capacity of VET staff to meet ongoing student literacy and numeracy needs.
Bettina Schwenger, Unitec Institute of Technology; Robyn Gandell, Unitec Institute of Technology
During the last decade, in New Zealand and internationally, resources and systems have been implemented to enhance tertiary students’ literacy and numeracy development. Diagnostic information about tertiary students’ current knowledge and skills (in reading, writing and numeracy) is now available to New Zealand teachers through the Assessment Tool (AT).
Adult literacy and numeracy are often regarded as separate proficiencies/ competencies. Little research is available on the interplay of these competencies or the pedagogical consequences of this interaction. Our research study examines connections between students’ numeracy and literacy skills and knowledge, using the AT data collected for Foundation Studies: Whitinga (FS) students for 2011 to 2012.
This presentation will report our preliminary findings, and examine the consequences for classroom practice, policy, planning and programme design.
Bettina Schwenger works as Academic Advisor Curriculum Development, on aspects related to academic literacy and numeracy across Unitec Institute of Technology. She is involved in implementing educational change (through embedding literacy and numeracy), utilising action research enquiry for learning and teaching development, and by supporting digital literacies. With a background in socio-linguistics, community and workplace literacy as well as staff development, Bettina combines her teaching experience of more than twenty years with relevant research to develop innovative approaches for working alongside staff.
Robyn Gandell is a lecturer in mathematics and physics in a foundation studies programme at UNITEC, a New Zealand tertiary institute. Professional interests include identity and discourses in mathematics education and use of group work and investigative activities in the mathematics classroom. Her current research investigates connections between students’ numeracy and literacy competencies. Robyn is currently studying towards a masters degree in mathematics education, and has presented at international conferences on both Model Eliciting Activities and discourses in mathematics teaching and learning.
Hiroaki Tanaka, Navitas English
This workshop will provide professional development for LLN practitioners who are interested in using the iPad in class. The workshop will provide practical teaching ideas and some tips for using iPad applications in a creative way to facilitate interactive learning in class. While the workshop is aimed at beginners, those who already have experience in using iPad are encouraged to share their ideas. Participants are encouraged to bring their own i-devices.
Hiroaki has been working as a LLN practitioner for three years and is now a LLNP team leader at Navitas English Fairfield. Hiroaki used iPad in class before and introduced this new technology to students and teachers through the workshop. He came to Australia in 2002 as an international student. He studied Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at Sydney University and Master of Applied Linguistics in UNSW.
Stephen Black, University of Technology, Sydney; Keiko Yasukawa, University of Technology, Sydney
This presentation contrasts dominant policy discourses about adult literacy and numeracy in Australia with actual literacy and numeracy practices in workplaces and people's lives. The presenters will draw on their own as well as on other published research to show that literacy and numeracy practices intersect and develop meaning in relation to people's work and other life contexts in complex ways. This raises questions about the assumptions which underpin recent policy initiatives where the transfer of literacy and numeracy, ’skills’ across different contexts is not sufficiently problematised, and fails to take account of the significant socio-cultural nature of adult literacy and numeracy.
Keiko Yasukawa is a lecturer in adult literacy and numeracy at the University of Technology, Sydney. She coordinates and teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs in adult literacy and numeracy teaching. Her research takes a critical and social practices perspective on literacy and numeracy. Recently she completed a project with Stephen Black on integrated literacy and numeracy in VET courses, and she is currently researching literacy and numeracy practices of manufacturing workers with Stephen Black and Tony Brown. She is on the editorial team of Literacy and Numeracy Studies: An international journal in the education and training of adults.
Stephen Black is a researcher at the University of Technology, Sydney with a professional background as an adult literacy teacher, program manager and researcher extending back for more than 30 years. His research and practice interests are in promoting a critical social practice approach to adult literacy and numeracy. He is currently working with Keiko Yasukawa on an NCVER project on LLN is manufacturing companies, and is on the editorial team of the journal Literacy and Numeracy Studies.
Harry Atkinson, Group Training Australia - Tasmania; Geoff Fader, Group Training Australia - Tasmania
The peak body, Group Training Australia - Tasmania, have successfully delivered innovative workplace literacy training programs during the last four years. The interest in adult literacy stems from the fact that two out of every three young people who apply for apprenticeship positions are un employable because their lack of literacy (and numeracy) makes them a danger to themselves and others in the workplace. This correlates with the Australian Bureau of Statics data that tells us the 51% of 15 to 19 year olds are functionally illiterate and 57% functionally innumerate The projects have supported apprentice skill development and achieved higher rates of retention and completion. This presentation will showcase the literacy programs provided by GTA-Tasmania and demonstrate the workplace literacy skill needs of apprentices, together with successful outcomes of training. The presentation will also examine statistics related to the recent changes in the economy - including rates of recruitment and retention of apprentices - and the affect these changes may have on the literacy levels required by those seeking to gain entry into an apprenticeship or traineeship employment opportunity. Group Training Australia - Tasmania is the peak body representing six not-for-profit member companies which collectively form the largest apprentice employer group in Tasmania. The projects that are being showcased demonstrate an employer’s practical answer to this problem.
Harry Atkinson is an adult language, literacy and numeracy practitioner who has taught in community, employment and workplace literacy programs for the last 10 years. Harry coordinates the literacy program ‘Success Pathways’ provided by Group Training Australia - Tasmania. Harry is the Tasmanian representative of the Australian WELL Practitioners Knowledge Network. Harry has a particular interest in workplace literacy and supporting the numeracy skills of apprentices within the trades. Geoff Fader is the Executive Officer of Group Training Tasmania whose members companies are the largest employer of apprentices in Tasmania and part of a network that employs 32,000 apprentices Australia wide.
Lindee Conway, ACAL; Jenni Anderson, Mission Australia
This workshop will give participants the opportunity to discuss the great outcomes achieved through the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP). Questions that may be addressed will include; Are there client groups who miss out on achieving positive outcomes? If so, why is this so and how could this be changed? How can LLNP engage and reach clients who are ‘harder to reach’? Is recruitment of teachers with higher qualifications effective? If recruitment success varies how can we change this? Are teachers able to access appropriate LLN qualifications? What does a great LLNP Teacher do that is effective? How does accountability provided better outcomes? Are there better ways to manage administration? How can LLNP services provide better teaching and learning opportunities? What are the best ideas for future LLNP delivery? ‘LLNP - Good, Better, Best’ will produce positive suggestions to ensure the best possible service provision for learners.
Lindee Conway has worked in adult education, focussing on teaching ESL and ESL literacy to learners, for more than two decades. These days she manages programs and looks back, with fierce happiness on her teaching life. As a manager of programs complex and multifarious, like the LLNP, she is looking forward to a lively gathering in which participants will say what works and what doesn't and say it loud.
Jenni Anderson worked in LLNP from 2002 to 2010 as a teacher, team leader and then Service Manager of LLNP across Tasmania. Previously she had worked in in other labour market programs, community and workplace adult literacy programs. She is currently working in community services more broadly.
Rosemary Smith, LINC Tasmania; Anita Anderwald, LINC Tasmania
Burnie LINC has been developing a suite of assessment tools with the goal of enabling simplified navigation and use of the ACSF; translating tools into plain English and mapping indicators across the ACSF, employability skills, group learning and participation. Tools have been redesigned from a variety of perspectives for coordinators, tutors and clients, to enable a more comprehensive view of individual levels from commencement and progressive stages. Workshop participants will be actively encouraged to use (trial/contribute) and provide feedback on the assessment tools - using the panel as interactive test cases.
Since completing a Bachelor of Teaching, Adult/ Vocational, Rosemary Smith has worked in Adult Literacy for over 20 years in programs including LLNP, WELL, Prisoner Education and currently as a Literacy Coordinator for Burnie LINC in North-West Tasmania. Her present work involves organising the recruitment, support, training of volunteer literacy tutors and the assessment of students.
Anita Anderwald is the Community Learning Coordinator at Burnie LINC, NW Tasmania. She has worked in the ACE sector for over 18 years, predominantly in Adult Education while working closely with Literacy, Migrant English, Workplace Learning, Online and Information Services. Rosemary and Anita work together; developing tools and practices to find suitable learning and support options and mapping learner progress.
Bernard Lewis, Navitas English Pty
“Are adult migrants really ready to work after doing some English study in Australia?” is a question on everyone’s mind. This presentation is a brief outline of the Employment Pathways Program which was offered to adult migrant English learners to put them on the road to obtaining a job in Australia. This was in addition to their AMEP hours. The presentation highlights the strategies that were used in the English classroom with specific relevance to two Pathways To Work courses. These courses focused on encouraging job seeking adult learners discover the Australian workplace, develop confidence and improve their employability and job seeking skills. A few online resources (including a wiki) were used, to make this happen.
Bernard Lewis is a Teaching and Learning Team Leader at Navitas English, Sydney. With more than 25 years of TESOL experience and a penchant for technology and innovation, he has been constantly trying new methods of English Language Teaching with just one thing in mind: to make the teaching and learning of English a joyful experience.
South-South Cooperation: Can it work in Australia?
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Australian adult literacy practitioners and adult educators more generally have become accustomed to hearing about the loss of our original emancipatory mission over the last forty years, as the result of growing worldwide neoliberal hegemony. The problem with this non-dialectical history is that it directs our attention away from the many sites of resistance around the world, and tends to reinforce our own sense of powerlessness. If we look beyond the narrow confines of the so-called advanced industrialised countries, however, we find that popular education in the tradition of Paulo Freire is alive and well in Asia, Latin America and Africa, where emancipatory literacy practices have continued to flourish and grow, and remarkable things have been achieved. In this presentation, Paulo Freire’s visit to Australia in April 1974 will be recalled as a convenient starting point for an alternative, ‘revisionist’ history of the struggle for literacy in Australia and our region. The remainder of the talk traces the link from Timor-Leste’s national adult literacy campaign to a remote western NSW Aboriginal community, which is now conducting the first pilot of the same mass campaign model, utilising the ‘Yes I Can’ method originally developed in Cuba. This application of a ‘South-South’ cooperation model in Aboriginal Australia provides us with an opportunity to consider new forms of cooperation within Australia and our region.
Bob Boughton has worked as a community development worker and adult educator since the 1970s. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, where his research focuses on the role of popular education in development in marginalised and impoverished communities.
In 2006, he began working with the Cuban education mission in Timor-Leste on a national adult literacy campaign, which has now taught basic literacy to over 120,000 people using local village-based facilitators. In the last twelve months, he has been coordinating the trial of a similar literacy campaign model in a remote Aboriginal community in NSW.
Christine Holland, Work & Education Research & Development Services
This qualitative research, undertaken throughout 2011, aims to contribute to our understanding of how apprentices can best be supported through mentoring, and how mentoring can help indigenous and migrant apprentices in particular to negotiate personal, social, cultural and institutional barriers to success in the trades. Like Australia, New Zealand has a significant workforce of first, second and even third generation ‘migrant‚’ as well as indigenous youth who are over-represented in poor academic achievement and long term unemployment statistics, or in minimum wage, part time and casual jobs. In a number of trades, few Maori and Pasifika people have been accepted as apprentices in the past and attrition, particularly for Pasifika apprentices, is high. This research focuses on a mentoring initiative for electrical apprentices which provides holistic support with a cultural and community focus.
Dr. Chris Holland is the Director of WERDS and author of a number of publications in workplace language and literacy, migrant inclusion, apprentice learning, mentoring and union learning initiatives. She also works directly with industry training organisations to establish effective workplace communication practices, language and literacy interventions and apprentice mentoring programmes in New Zealand.
Cheryl Wiltshire, Department of Training and Workforce Development
Accredited courses offer the opportunity to design at the local level to meet local needs. Cheryl illustrates how this has allowed Western Australia to design VET curriculum products that are truly different. She will argue that if we start from what works for learners, then provide what teachers need, the other desired outcomes from education and training naturally follow, such as civic development and economic productivity. The session will explore the current status of national initiatives such as the Foundation Skills Training Package and their potential effects on innovation.
Cheryl Wiltshire works in the curriculum team at the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development. Her work history includes working as a tutor in the Northern Territory, literacy coordinator in a labour market program in the Kimberley and program manager for what is now C.Y.O’Connor Institute of Technology, where she supported 13 centres across the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.
Cathrena McRae, The Learning Workshop
This presentation outlines an innovative Workplace English Language and Literacy Project that developed an interactive film/multimedia resource to develop the literacy and numeracy skills of Indigenous people in regional and remote Australia wanting to establish a small business. The resource developed a number of specific strategies to meet the literacy, language and numeracy needs of these learners including:
A documentary that follows an Indigenous man (Brian) establish his boxing /fitness business, Natural Born Fighters
The development of a virtual community that uses 3D animation of Brian and his Indigenous mentor (Elva) discussing issues Indigenous people face when starting a small business
Interactive literacy, language and numeracy activities that support the building of the knowledge and skills Indigenous people need to establish a small business.
Cathrena McRae is the Director of The Learning Workshop, a private registered training organisation based in Cairns. She has an established career in public and private training sectors across Australia, drawing on a broad spectrum of experience in delivering training, research and resource projects to communities and workplaces. The Learning Workshop has developed particular expertise in delivery of training and resource development projects to Indigenous workplaces and communities in regional and remote Queensland.
Sue Howard, LINC Tasmania (Burnie); Helen Ebsworth, LINC Tasmania, Hobart
Describes LINC Tasmania’s approach to providing second chance learning for clients using library, literacy and community learning services in a planned, integrated way. Outlines the strategic vision that guides practice and outlines LINC Tasmania roles and place in the service provision picture. Using a case study example, explores the nature and types of partnerships and collaborative arrangements which allow for place-based initiatives to be undertaken within the strategic vision. Explores the significant role that volunteers can take in supporting learning, thus building the skills and knowledge of the community to build resilience and sustainability. Provides a challenge for participants to explore their options in creating such chances for their clients.
Sue Howard has worked in all delivery sectors of adult learning for over 30 years with much time spent in Indigenous Australian settings and organisations. She has also worked as a manager in community organisations providing mentoring and support for delivery of accredited qualifications. Her particular interests are in literacy and learning policy and strategic directions.
Helen Ebsworth has been an educator for 30 years and has worked in a range of settings and sectors from schools to VET and community education. She is interested in exploring how collaboration works to benefit the community and in providing individuals with increased opportunities. Her current role provides leadership in community learning as a strengthening mechanism for VET and further education and a means to build social inclusion.
Christina Murphy, Victoria University; Melanie Fattore, Victoria University
As part of unit VBQU 118 Conduct a project with guidance, a CSWE11 class at the St Albans campus this year participated in voluntary work in an English-speaking workplace. There are oracy assessments and other tasks related to this program. The underlying basis for the program is improving the employability skills of students, which is an integral component of all our ESL courses. It runs for a minimum of two terms and for three hours per week. A group of students have committed to one year at a hospital and are enjoying the placement. For all the students this is their first foray into an Australian workplace. Many students have been in Australia since the 1980s. We have noticed an improvement in confidence and oracy skills. Participants are being continually assessed at regular intervals. Placements were matched to the students. Two students are already interested in specialised courses to enter these employment fields.
Chris Murphy has been teaching for approximately 40 years with some time spent outside the field in complementary positions. She comes from 30 years in the primary sector as a class teacher, Reading Recovery teacher and literacy co-ordinator. In 2002 she qualified and began teaching in the ESL sector across all age groups. She established the ESL program across the secondary and primary schools in Mildura. She also co-ordinated an outpost campus in Werribee for the Western English Language School. For the past 3 years she has been teaching in the adult sector, co-ordinating a CSWE11 class at Victoria University.
Melanie Fattore began her teaching career at the Koorie Open Door Education School in Glenroy, Victoria. She taught in Osaka, Japan for the Nova Intercultural Institute in 1998. On return to Melbourne she started teaching ESL under the LLNP system for Community West, a not-for-profit organisation servicing the needs of adult learners in the west of Melbourne. Since 2011 she has been at Victoria University and is co-ordinating two ESL Access I courses and team teaching CSWE11.
Pauline O'Maley, Victoria University; Lynne Matheson, La Trobe University
Whether you are an experienced or new practitioner, articulating theories on which you base your practice may need some unpacking or reinvigoration. Through dialogue and exploration of key approaches to teaching and learning, the nexus between theory and practice will be explored in this interactive session. Participants will be invited to consider ways in which to reclaim the territory of theory based practice that is learner centric rather than accountability driven. Based on a Freirean notion of literacy as dialogical (1972), this session has been conceived as a dialogue, a pedagogical conversation. Participants will have the opportunity to talk about working with students in various learning settings and how adult learning principles and learning and teaching theories influence and shape their work.
Pauline O’Maley is a member of the VALBEC committee and has had terms on ACAL as Secretary and Co-president. She currently works at Victoria University as an educational developer as part of the university’s Language, Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, in the Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development.
Lynne Matheson is a member of the VALBEC committee and has worked in ACE and TAFE before moving to La Trobe University where she works as a project officer in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Rhonda Pelletier, Chisholm Institute
SMEs are often not able to cover the cost of training to support their employees' LLN skills needs. Chisholm Institute conducted a WELL (Workplace English Language and Literacy Program) strategic project to establish a network so that SMEs could access WELL training by collaborating on one WELL training application. This presentation will report on the research, on establishing and maintaining the network, on feedback received from participating companies and the impact on the training organisation hosting the network. What does this kind of provision require of:
Tools for working with SMEs will be presented for session participants to map their own regions and for feedback on their effectiveness. A debatable point will be raised from the network project: How does this provision of training exhibit good language and adult learning principles? Can anything of worth be provided in this model of work?
Rhonda Pelletier is currently the project officer for Chisholm Institute’s ENTWINED network WELL Strategic Project. She has worked in the Workplace English Language and Literacy program for most of the last 14 years. Recently, through Fiveways Training Support, Rhonda released ‘Not Your Usual Practice: Education Voices in the Workplace’ a WELL strategic project that captured the experience of WELL practitioners. In recent times Rhonda has also provided professional development in integrating language and literacy in delivery and assessment for vocational trainers and private providers.
Corinna Ridley, Victoria University
This presentation will explore how the concept of literacy is represented in discourse and the ways these distinctions effect our understanding of what is meant by ‘academic literacy’ (Lea & Street: 1998). The session will cover: How is the role of literacy represented in discourses of student diversity and success? How are these discourses informing the practices of teachers in the context of widening participation? In Australia, in what ways is the so-called ‘literacy crisis’ a literacy problem or the result of how we define literacy? How does this position adult literacy practices as part of life long learning? This session will set the scene and invite discussion on the role of practitioners in broadening the thinking about the meaning of literacy.
Corinna Ridley heads the School of Language and Learning at Victoria University. She has had extensive experience managing and teaching ESL and adult literacy programs in both TAFE and HE sectors, in Australia and abroad. Since taking up the role of Head of School she has supported continued growth of learning support services across both sectors of the University and provided support to a range of significant University initiatives including the embedding of academic skill development in curriculum, and the extension of Students Supporting Student Learning Programs. She has recently commenced her doctoral research which will focus on diversity and disadvantage in widening university participation. Corinna continues to teach on an occasional basis, through lecturing in the Masters of TESOL in Vietnam for VU and most recently lecturing in the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education.
Melissa Iocco, LINC Tasmania / Tasmania Prison Service; Norman Alexander, Community Corrections (South); Wendy Stothers, Tasmanian Polytechnic
This presentation will address the conference themes of connecting, cooperating and creating in the field of adult literacy and corrections in Tasmania. The link between low literacy levels and involvement in the criminal justice system has been long established, as has the link between lowering recidivism by raising literacy levels. The need to improve literacy levels of offenders has been recognised at the State Government strategic policy level with the Department of Education’s Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan 2010-2015 and the Department of Justice‚’s Breaking the Cycle: A Strategic Plan for Tasmanian Corrections 2011-2020 which both emphasise that efforts to raise literacy levels of offenders need to be coordinated, well resourced and have a long term vision. The presentations will address the recent implementation of LINC Tasmania’s volunteer tutor program in Risdon Prison and Community Corrections (South), and the existing efforts of the Polytechnic in raising literacy of offenders in Risdon Prison.
Melissa Iocco is a Literacy Coordinator at Risdon Prison. She has a background in university teaching and coordination, adolescent and adult community education and social policy and research. Norman Alexander is a Literacy Coordinator-Justice, working in the Office of Community Corrections (South). He has a background in Community Corrections, counselling and education. Wendy Stothers works in the Literacy and Numeracy team at the Tasmanian Polytechnic. She has taught in various settings for 20 years including two years at Risdon Prison in various locations within the complex.
Angela Holmes, Department of Health and Human Services; Belinda Fenney-Walch, Department of Health and Human Services
The ability to access and use health information is a fundamental skill which allows people to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. Improving health literacy - and the way health professionals communicate - may help improve the efficiency of health services and prevent illness and injuries. Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2006 showed that 59% of Australian adults did not have what was considered adequate health literacy skills. In this presentation and through participant activities we will explore:
the impact health literacy skills have on individuals and services
the relationship between health literacy and basic literacy skills
opportunities for collaboration between the health literacy and adult literacy sectors
projects underway to improve health communication with specific population groups
work underway between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to address health literacy issues.
Angela Holmes, Belinda Fenney-Walch and Tracey Wing, work in Population Health, within the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services. Angela coordinates implementation of the Communication and Health Literacy Action Plan and supports work in consumer engagement, health promotion and chronic disease self-management. Belinda has a Bachelor of Arts degree and has worked as a Registered Nurse and in many health policy roles. Since 2000, Belinda has specialised in health communications. Tracey works with the Population Health Equity Unit to address health inequities - the avoidable and unfair experiences and circumstances that compromise the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians.
Borka Buseska, National Director of the LLNP, DIISRTE and Ingrid Cucchi, Director, Policy and Planning Section in the Work Job Services Australia Group
Promoting the benefits of increased linkages between Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program Providers (LLNP) and Job Services Australia (JSA) providers and the benefits to youth/early school leavers in particular. If you are interested in knowing what strategies are effective for working with early school leavers you won’t want to miss this presentation. This presentation will outline the findings of a recent joint project between the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) involving the development of innovative strategies to engage early school leavers so that they can go on to further education or training, and employment. The presentation will run through:
a summary of the pilot and its findings;
the key messages and lessons learnt from both the LLNP provider and also the JSA provider, and
how you can replicate the success of the pilot within your organisation.
Borka Buseska is the National Director of the LLNP. Borka has been the National Director for over three years and she brings with her 29 years of experience in the public sector. Borka has worked in various Departments including the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. During this time she worked with job seekers as well as employers. She describes herself as a solution broker and her motto is ‘for every problem there is a solution’.
Ingrid Cucchi is Director, Policy and Planning Section in the Work Experience & Programs Branch in the Job Services Australia Group in DEEWR and has over 30 years private and public sector experience. She has worked in a variety of industries in recruitment, sales & marketing, management, government policy development and project management. Most recently Ingrid has been responsible for the implementation of two Building Australia’s Future Workforce measures including providing extra funding for JSA providers to help early school leavers to improve their literacy and build their skills for further education and employment.
Isabel Osuna-Gatty, Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council
Paulo Freire proposed a new pedagogy which highlights an active relationship between teacher, student, and society. In 1962, this Brazilian educator had the first opportunity to apply his theories, when 300 sugarcane workers were taught to read and write in just 45 days. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Latin America has a literacy rate between 90 to 100%. This presentation will showcase a series of literacy programs across Latin America, and how these programs have increased the literacy rate of this region to 7% since 1990, already close to universal literacy.
As a member of the Workforce Development Team and as the Workforce English Language and Literacy (WELL) Broker for the Community Services Industry Skills Council, Isabel builds partnerships with a variety of stakeholders to deliver government programs and industry initiatives. Isabel has 12 years of project management experience working in the Community Services and Health sectors and 20 years of experience as an educator teaching English Language, Literacy and Numeracy to adults and teaching English as a Second Language at universities and community colleges.
Ann Kelly, Griffith University
In a recent study of workplace literacy and numeracy, the Australian Industry Group (February 2012) implemented a number of language and literacy trials of provision across three States of Australia. Major findings were that a diversity of training approaches are needed. This issue is the focus of this presentation. Researchers at Griffith University are currently engaged in an NCVER study to identify how workers prefer to learn at work. Preliminary findings from Phase 1 of the study are that a) practice-based experiences with direct guidance through shadowing, mentoring, etc., b) practice-based experiences with educational interventions (e.g. action learning, action research, project work) and c) opportunity-based experiences are the preferred modes of learning of this cohort. These findings and those from Phase 2, involving about 100 workers in all, will be elaborated in this session and implications will be drawn for how workplace L&N programs, in addition to the current WELL programs, might be conceptualised.
Dr Ann Kelly has been an adult literacy teacher, lecturer, curriculum and resource developer and researcher for over thirty years. She is currently involved with colleagues at Griffith University in a major research study that is evaluating the alignment between the existing approaches to continuing education provisions within the Australian tertiary education and training system and the current and emerging workplace, workforce and worker requirements. This project offers the opportunity to systematically appraise how these provisions might be best ordered, organised and enacted in both education and workplace settings.
Amanda Homewood, Swinburne University of Technology (TAFE Division)
This workshop reports on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of an Education for Sustainability (EfS) teaching and learning program delivered at Swinburne TAFE (Croydon Campus, Melbourne).
focuses on activities incorporating EfS principles
encourages the possibility of positive action, rather than dwelling on gloomy environmental forecasts
incorporates the ‘triple bottom line’ of sustainability– that is, included themes connected with economic, social and environmental factors.
Firstly, a definition and context of EfS will be considered. Particular reference is made to the VET sector, especially The National VET Sector Sustainability Action Plan 2009-2012: Living Sustainably and The Green Skills Agreement 2009 (COAG). Ten EfS activities are presented which are suitable to use with a CSWE III class, or an intermediate level CGEA class. These have also been aligned with the ACSF. Emphasis will be on the practical application of activities for the classroom; discussion will be encouraged.
Mandy has spent more than 20 years teaching English to migrant, refugee and literacy students. Over the past 6 years she had coordinated the LLNP at Croydon Campus, Swinburne. Mandy has an M.Ed (TESOL) and recently graduated in the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Education and Training for Sustainability. This was Australia's first accredited course in Education and Training for Sustainability (ETfS) at the Vocational Graduate Certificate level. ETfS is now recognised internationally as the educational and pedagogical platform for teaching in sustainability.
Jenni Anderson, Patricia Lucas and Charles Muggeridge, all from Mission Australia
Mission Australia has delivered the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP) in Tasmania for 10 years. This workshop will discuss; Which clients are referred and how does this impact on LLNP delivery? Which clients are not referred and how does this impact on LLNP delivery Which clients are retained and why? Which clients are difficult to retain? What strategies have worked to retain learners? What are some of the barriers that impact on learning? What have been effective ways to overcome those barriers? What facets of the program have been difficult to deliver? What strategies have assisted in effective delivery? What have we learnt about recruitment for LLNP? What are the key learnings over the last 10 years that could improve LLNP in the future?
Jenni Anderson worked in LLNP from 2002 to 2010 as a teacher, team leader and Service Manager of LLNP across Tasmania. In 2009 she also worked training LLNP staff commencing new services in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales. Previously she had worked in in other labour market programs, community and workplace adult literacy programs. She is currently working in community services more broadly.
Lesley Evans, WEA Illawarra
In this workshop Lesley will discuss why trainers and assessors need to know about the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) and she will give a brief introduction to the use of the document. There will be opportunity for questions. Information on free full day ACSF workshops around Australia is available at www.weaillawarra.com.au/acsf
Lesley Evans is the Equity Education Manager at WEA Illawarra and has been working in Adult Language Literacy and Numeracy and Vocational Programs for over 20 years. In June 2011 the WEA was contracted by DIISRTE to develop and deliver a total of 60 face to face ACSF workshops in capital cities and some major regional towns around Australia. An ACSF online training program has also been developed and is available for remote rural participants. Lesley is managing this contract and is one of a team of presenters who are presenting the workshops. The workshops are available until June 2013 and information about them can be accessed at www.weaillawarra.com.au/acsf
Lesley has a Master of Education Degree (TESOL) and has developed her expertise in the National Reporting System and subsequently the Australian Core Skills Framework primarily through managing Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP) and Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) contracts. She has been facilitating professional development training for teachers, trainers and assessors for over a 15 year period.
Lorraine Sushames, Charles Darwin University; Wendy Kennedy, Charles Darwin University
This presentation will attempt to unpack segments of the Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) puzzle, as these relate to practice in the Northern Territory. It will explore the opportunities and constraints involved in attempting to fully assemble the pieces and consider what might ultimately cement them together. Factors such as policy drivers and the LLN requirements of the workplace versus employee capacity will be considered. Questions of measurement - i.e. if testing can provide an accurate reflection of someone’s ability to learn new skills and the capability of LLN providers to deliver what is really required to make a difference for learners in remote communities over the longer term will be explored.
Lorraine and Wendy have worked together extensively. Lorraine has developed and delivered a range of projects designed to strengthen the capacity of individuals to participate more effectively in society and the workforce. Her research interests reflect these activities, focussing on the role of English literacy in Indigenous economic and educational advancement and in capacity building in Timor Leste. Wendy began her teaching career in the remote Arnhemland community of Gunbalanya. She has over 30 years teaching experience, the last 20 of which have been in Adult General Education. Wendy has considerable experience in Indigenous education and in writing training packages/accredited courses to suit specific contexts.
Stephen Neale, 2 Black Dogs Pty, Project Manager - Tourism & Hospitality Literacy & Numeracy Nodes Project, Dept of Education and Training NT; Elke Watson, Blackpixel Pty Ltd
My knife movie (mp4)
Portion control movie (mp4)
Show me example movie (mp4)
The need to train existing and potential workers with appropriate LLN skills is a national priority, affecting many industries. There is a growing need to assist learners by supplying contextualised programs that are purposeful for their learning and use real-life application. The NODES project a national initiative using the latest technology will be available as open courseware nationally. Following the implementation of the online Fliplets project - a schools initiative to teach underpinning industry knowledge to students at a prevocational stage - the NODES project is designed as a support tool for learners. To maximise effectiveness, a multidisciplinary team worked together to extrapolate the LLN requirements in line with the training package. Content matter expertise, literacy teachings, and instructional design methodologies come together to create holistically clustered topics that are structured consistently to assist learning, adhering to adult learning principles. With a projected launch for the end of this year, this presentation seeks to showcase what has been done so far, the technology used and to stimulate discussion.
Stephen Neale is an educator who has been working in vocational education for 12 years and is an advocate for the use of new technologies in educational delivery. For the past 3 years he has been working for the Northern Territory government managing various projects that develop resources aimed at students from remote communities or with learning challenges who study tourism and hospitality.
Elke Watson is an Instructional Designer with 9 years experience in e-learning. She has worked in e-learning design capacities in a number of industries, including not-for-profit and vocational and higher education publishing sectors, working with content matter experts to create online content. In the most recent three years she has shifted her focus on designing course material with a literacy and numeracy focus for prevocational and vocational students.
Jan Hagston, Multifangled
For the last three years Jan has worked with teachers in youth programs, supporting them to implement applied learning and suggesting and developing activities that fit with an applied learning approach. At the same time she has been grappling with questions such as - what really is applied learning? If you start from the practical activity, how do you ensure the learners gain an understanding of the concepts and theoretical underpinnings? How do you ensure they have the skills that underpin the activity?. This year she set herself the challenge of developing learning materials that start from a practical activity and incorporate theoretical understanding and help learners to read both the word and the world. Participants will have the chance to use the resources and decide for themselves if Jan has met the challenge she set.
Jan Hagston is Director of Multifangled P/L, an education and training consultancy specialising in adult and youth education. Since 2002, Jan has been closely involved in applied learning programs for young people and from 2008 to the end of 2011 she worked as the Executive Officer for the Victorian Applied Learning Association (VALA), the peak professional organisation for applied learning educators, conducting professional development for teachers of VCAL and other applied learning programs, and managing and contributing to projects that have developed applied learning resources. Jan taught in secondary schools before working in the VET sector where she has had broad experience in curriculum and materials development, professional development, and research. She has worked across education sectors - schools, TAFE institutes, adult community education providers, universities, and in workplace programs.
Janet McHardy, LabTech Training Ltd
Teaching from a social action approach takes account of the participants’ everyday practices to make new learning meaningful. This workshop will describe the ‘Get it Right’ programme developed by LabTech Training (a Perth-based National RTO) as a ‘whole department’ approach for a laboratory servicing the mining and exploration industries in Western Australia. The presentation describes key factors in the success of this programme:
the enthusiastic co-operation and involvement of all stakeholders: literacy and VET educators, RTO, laboratory managers, supervisors and programme participants.
the programme structure. Contrary to usual practice, the literacy educator has taken the lead in developing the programme.
true contextualisation. VET trainers have taken time to work alongside laboratory staff for whole shifts so all programme content starts from what is done in that lab.
literacy educator and VET trainer take an equal role in delivering the creative, interactive programme and have an everyday presence both in the training room and on the ‘floor’.
Janet has had wide experience as an adult literacy practitioner in tertiary settings and the workplace. Before coming to live in Perth in January 2011, she was a literacy facilitator at the University of Waikato National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults where she was part of a term delivering professional development to tertiary educators throughout NZ. Since coming to Perth she has worked part-time in tertiary settings and the workplace, as a CAVSS tutor. Her area of particular interest is reading difficulties and she is currently doing postgraduate study in this field at the University of Western Australia.
Dave Tout, Australian Council for Educational Research
What does research about the mathematical knowledge of adults and young people tell us about the teaching and learning of adult numeracy? Based on the frameworks, item development and the results of adult and young people’s performance in a number of international, national and state based numeracy and mathematical literacy assessments, this presentation will highlight a number of issues and lessons to be learnt relating to the teaching and learning of numeracy. The assessment frameworks and results to be used as the basis for the presentation include the international Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS); the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and national and state based assessments such as the New Zealand Adult Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Tool.
Dave has over 30 years experience working in the youth and adult numeracy and mathematics education sectors. He has had wide experience not only in teaching and training, but also in working at a state, national and international level in research, curriculum, assessment and materials development. Dave is particularly renowned for his hands on workshops, which not only make maths fun, but also demonstrate how a range of maths issues and topics can be addressed. Dave joined ACER in 2008, where he is a Senior Research Fellow, and has worked on national and international assessment projects including PISA and PIAAC.
Adult Literacy Practitioners – making our voices heard
The fourth strand of the conference addresses the area of creativity, and asks us to look to the future of the adult literacy sector, and find creative ways to move forward. Before we consider this future, this is an opportune moment to take stock of the present, and, in particular, ask ourselves what we understand by the term ‘adult literacy’ and who we view as adult literacy educators. There appears to an almost unquestioning emphasis in much of the world on the functional vocational approach “resulting in a discourse of literacy as a technical skill and vocational competence” (Tett and St Clair, 2011). This of course goes hand in hand with the view that links literacy to economic prosperity. In industrialised countries adult literacy learners are often viewed as those who have not succeeded in conventional education – the second chance learners. Yet I would argue that this is a narrow view and that adult literacy should be viewed as a continuum, that learners engaged in preliteracy/ vocational entry classes have much in common with those at the other end of the scale, those struggling with academic literacy demands at postgraduate level, and that their tutors also have much in common. After all, as Freebody and Lo Bianco (1997) point out, effective tuition aims to equip students to actively interpret the meanings of texts and critically analyse and transform them.
At the moment a colleague and I are engaged in research into Foundation Studies programmes in New Zealand. These programmes are aimed at giving learners “the requisite academic skills that will enable them to enrol in other tertiary programmes to which they would otherwise not have been able to gain entry” (Benseman and Russ, 2003). At the same time I am talking to those tasked with helping students at postgraduate level with their literacy. Both sets of tutors are a dedicated, enthusiastic and caring group of people, passionate about what they do and eager to do better. Many, however in New Zealand at least, are marginalised by their institutions, battle for adequate resources and live under constant threat of review and possible redundancy. They too, are outside the “processes of consultation and decision –making so that policy simply ‘arrives’ without explanation” (Hamilton, 2012).
The obvious question is why bother – why should tutors of disparate groups come together? The answer quite simply is that we share so many of the same challenges that we can support and learn from each other. More importantly though is the fact that there is strength in unity. Literacy practitioners at all levels find it difficult to make their voices heard. In this presentation I would like to explore ways in which we, as literacy practitioners, can overcome the silencing of our voices, so that our understanding of student needs and challenges, and our expertise in meeting these needs gains the recognition and support it deserves.
Pat Strauss is the co-programme leader of the Masters of Literacy and Numeracy Education at AUT University in New Zealand. She has been involved in teaching various literacies to students from foundation level to those enrolled on postgraduate programmes. She is particularly interested in the institutional positioning of literacy practitioners working at all levels in further and higher education, and the way in which this positioning impacts on their practice.