Family literacy work in an adult literacy and education context in ireland
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Family literacy work in an adult literacy and education context in Ireland . National Adult Literacy Agency, Ireland May 8 th 2006. Presentation. Irish Education system Adult literacy Family literacy - guidelines. Irish Education System. Compulsory school attendance 6-16 year olds

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Family literacy work in an adult literacy and education context in Ireland

National Adult Literacy Agency, Ireland

May 8th 2006


Presentation

  • Irish Education system

  • Adult literacy

  • Family literacy - guidelines

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Irish Education System

  • Compulsory school attendance 6-16 year olds

  • Primary, Secondary, 3rd level, further education.

  • Free Primary and secondary education since 1967

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


First level

  • Some pre-school provision for 3 year olds targets disadvantage (Early Start),

  • Most children begin at 4 or 5 years.

  • Primary school – 8 years

  • 450,000 students

  • State funded parish schoolsMulti- or non-denominational schools growing

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Second Level

  • Secondary school – 5-6 years

    3 years Junior Cycle- Junior Certificate

    1 year transition2-3 years Senior Cycle – Leaving Cert.

  • Secondary (church patronage), Vocational (VECs), Community and Comprehensive

  • 61% of all persons aged 15-64 attained education levels of higher secondary level or above in 2005

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


  • % Early school leaversin EU member states 2005

  • Country Males Females Total

  • EU-25 17.1 12.7 14.9 %

  • EU-15 19.4 14.5 16.9 %

  • Ireland 14.5 9.3 11.9 %

  • Early school leavers 54,600

  • or 12% of all persons aged 18-24.

  • 350,00 students in second level in 2003


Third level- Higher education

  • 7 Universities and 14 Institutes

  • 18,000 students in 1965

  • 140,000 students in 2003

  • Free fees for undergraduate programmes

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Further Education

  • Vocational Training -VTOS- unemployed

  • Youthreach

  • Traveller centres –STTC’s

  • Adult Literacy

  • Community Education

  • Post Leaving Certificate

  • Vocational specific provision (trades, farmers, catering, tourism, etc)

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Lifelong learners

  • Nearly 8% of population 25-64 are life long learners.

  • Almost 11% of Europeans (EU-25) aged between 25 and 64 were life long learners.

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Role of NALA

NALA is a membership organisation with

voluntary status concerned with

  • Policy/Lobbying

  • Research

  • Quality

  • Training

  • Development

  • Mainstreaming

  • Promotion & Awareness

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Mission Statement

To ensure all adults with literacy difficulties have access to a range of high quality learning opportunities

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Definition of Adult Literacy

  • Literacy involves listening, speaking, reading, writing, numeracy and using everyday technology to communicate and handle information. It includes more than the technical skills of communication: it also has personal, social and economic dimensions. Literacy increases the opportunity for individuals and communities to reflect on their situation, explore new possibilities and initiate change.

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Adult Literacy Provision in 2005

  • 135 schemes managed by the Adult Literacy Organisers in 33 VECs

  • 5,500 literacy tutors - over 4,000 volunteers

  • Tuition Options in VECs - 1:1, Groups, Workplace, Family, ESOL, R2Ed, R2L

  • Other settings integrating literacy- Prisons, Youthreach, Senior Traveller Training Centres, Community groups

  • Distance education – TV, Internet

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Recent investment in Literacy

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Why family literacy?

  • People looked for support in helping their children with learning

  • Parents’ interest in their child’s learning is the most significant feature – 8 times more important than social class, parents occupation

  • Adults’ literacy improves too!

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Rationale for guidelines

  • Research & document relevant national & international practice

  • Establish NALA policy on family literacy, underpinned by an adult literacy approach

  • Support the roll-out of family literacy amongst a range of providers in Ireland

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


3 Types of Family Literacy programmes (Paratore, 2003)

  • Those that provide comprehensive services to parents and children;

  • Those that provide services to parents…with the intent of influencing the literacy achievement of both parents and children; and

  • Those that focus on affecting the literacy achievement of the child alone, with the parent as the instrument of change.

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Family Literacy programmes in the adult literacy context

  • Support and develop the language, literacy and numeracy learning that happens in families;

  • Work with families where the adults are interested in the opportunity to develop their own basic education, as well as help their children to learn;

  • Build on literacy practices within families and communities – non formal sectors

  • Aim to develop literacy skills and confidence across generations

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Wealth/Strengths Model

  • 5 Principles underpin the programme (page 11 of guidelines Working Together)

  • Not about telling parents what to do

  • It is about supporting and encouraging parents’ role as educators

  • Validates what people can do at home, and in everyday life

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Key points in the guidelines

  • Partnership working – Non Formal and Formal sectors

  • Specific tutor training

  • Practical issues – childcare, premises

  • Recruitment

  • Evaluation

  • Programmes

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


3 types of programmes

  • Outreach/Introductory courses – 6-8 weeks with focus on new learners + discussion

  • Particular skills programmes – language development, ICT and reading

  • Intensive programmes – both parents and children in parallel and joint literacy activities

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Key Recommendations

  • National strategy on family literacy

  • Dedicated budget

  • Core staff – coordinator and tutors

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


Impact since launch 1/11/05

  • Guidelines referenced in Department of Education Plan for Educational Inclusion for 3-18 year olds (May 2005).

  • Focus of Educational Disadvantage Committee

  • Roll-out of family literacy programmes involving schools, the VEC adult literacy service and NALA in 2006

  • Increased family literacy activity among a range of providers

John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


John Stewart

National Adult Literacy Coordinator


National Adult Literacy Agency

76 Lower Gardiner Street

Dublin 1

Tel:01-8554332

Fax: 01-8555475

Email: [email protected]@nala.ie

Webpage: www.nala.ie


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