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The al-jabr of numeracy – restoring the balance (between numeracy and literacy). Noyona Chanda and Graham Griffiths. A warning. Nothing to do with algebra! Using the translation of ‘al-jabr’ as to do with ‘restoration’. Introduction. Skills gap in UK (isn’t there everywhere?)

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noyona chanda and graham griffiths

The al-jabr of numeracy – restoring the balance (between numeracy and literacy)

Noyona Chanda and Graham Griffiths

a warning
A warning
  • Nothing to do with algebra!
  • Using the translation of ‘al-jabr’ as to do with ‘restoration’
introduction
Introduction
  • Skills gap in UK (isn’t there everywhere?)
  • Skills for Life Strategy
  • Links between higher numeracy and better paid jobs eg Bynner and Parsons
  • BUT
  • Demand for adult numeracy remains low
the study
The study
  • Small scale study for National Audit Office
  • Methods …
    • Email survey
    • Email list discussion
    • Some focus groups with targeted questionnaires
    • Semi structured interviews with individuals and small groups
the issues as we saw them
The issues (as we saw them)
  • Policy and strategy
  • The ‘consumer’
  • Management and curriculum leadership
  • Teacher, mentor and supporter
what would you expect from the study
What would you expect from the study?

Discuss in small groups what you think the findings of our study might be.

Remember that your situation might be different to the UK (or maybe England)

some data
Some data
  • Look at the data extracts
  • How would you interpret the information.
four areas
Four areas
  • Provision – who’s championing for expansion and innovation
  • The profession – why is it not ready for demand
  • The numeracy curriculum offer – is it what everyone wants or needs?
  • The potential learner – why aren’t they getting the message
provision
Provision
  • For about half the respondents, literacy and numeracy provision is of a similar size, almost all the remaining respondents noted that numeracy provision is smaller.
  • The organisational grouping together of literacy and numeracy as Skills for Life may have resulted in a loss of identity for numeracy.
  • Lack of specialist representation at middle and senior management level may impact on the nurturing of numeracy provision and capacity.
  • Promotion and marketing of adult numeracy provision remains low-key and, in many cases, uninspiring.
profession
Profession
  • There are not as many numeracy specialist teachers and teacher educators as that for literacy and ESOL
  • There are fewer full-time posts for numeracy than for literacy
  • An increased emphasis on developing language and literacy for maths learning would better prepare numeracy teachers to respond adequately to the needs of learners
numeracy curriculum offer
Numeracy Curriculum offer
  • Not every adult with lower level numeracy skills wants to develop their numeracy further – campaigns may help.
  • Not every adult with lower level numeracy skills feels a need to gain a qualification – provision and curriculum should reflect this.
  • There are a number of other drivers for individuals to want to improve their numeracy – provision and curriculum should respond to these.
potential learners
Potential learners
  • Adults are managing their lives and often do not consider that their “lower than level 2” numeracy is a problem.
  • Improved marketing of more innovative and responsive numeracy programmes may attract potential learners.
summary recommendations
Summary recommendations
  • The reporting of numeracy to be de-coupled from literacy in all national bodies, reports and development plans
  • The campaign for adult numeracy should require organisations to identify strategies that are being employed to increase numeracy with targets for increases in provision, staffing and professional development.
  • A series of adult numeracy awareness raising events should be launched:
    • - for managers with a focus on structural issues;
    • - for teachers with a focus on appropriate learning and teaching strategies; and
    • - for the general public with a focus on how things have changed in education.
  • Positive action to value and engage numeracy staff at all levels to be undertaken – targeted at middle and senior management in particular.
summary recommendations1
Summary recommendations

What would you do?