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As defined by Gee, Literacy is control of secondary uses of languages (i.e. is uses of language in secondary discourses) and literacy agreed to by State and Federal ministers (MCEETYA) in 1997 is:
Literacy is the ability to read and write and use written information and to write appropriately in a range of contexts. It also involves the integration of speaking, listening, viewing and critical thinking with reading and writing, and includes the cultural knowledge which enables a speaker, writer or reader to recognise and use language appropriate to different social situations.
While MCEETYA encompasses literacy with context to different social situations, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) extends the same by defining literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society."
The term numeracy is commonly used nationally in at least two distinct ways:
Doing Mathematics Well
Dealing with the Mathematics needed to do Some Other Job Well.
While these two things overlap, without being same, both are equally important for the students. DEETYA (1997) expands the concept of numeracy as,
"To be numerate is to use mathematics effectively to meet the general demands of life at home, in paid work, and for participation in community and civic life.
In school education, numeracy is a fundamental component of learning, discourse and critique across all areas of the curriculum. It involves the disposition to use, in context, a combination of:
Underpinning Mathematical Concepts and Skills From Across the Discipline (numerical, spatial, graphical, statistical and algebraic)
Mathematical Thinking and Context
General Thinking Skills, and
Grounded Appreciation of Context. "
The same understanding is explained by The UK's Department for Children, Schools and Families defines numeracy in their National Strategy documents as follows:
Numeracy is a proficiency which is developed mainly in mathematics, but also in other subjects. It is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. It involves developing confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques, and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands understanding of the ways in which data are gathered by counting and measuring, and presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
That the concept of literacy and numeracy is the basis of the language we speak which is defined as the cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication (http://define.com/language). It also has literacy and numeracy components in it and they are an integral part of our daily life.
There is no limit to the definitions and all of them underpin the importance of Literacy and Numeracy in education and our everyday life. In the following report, I will endeavour to-
Identify significant literacy and numeracy technologies impacting on my personal literacy and numeracy competence,
Investigate my exposure to literacy and numeracy issues in the workplace, school and formal learning contexts, leading to
Investigate issues in literacy and numeracy teaching with secondary school teaching.
The above tasks and outcomes are related to the Standard Two of the guide for PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR QUEENSLAND TEACHERS March 2009, the title of which is Design and implement learning experiences that develop language, literacy and numeracy retrieved from
A timeline record of my most significant literacy and numeracy technologies over the years, along with the reasons as well as my initial reaction to it, and if it has changed over the years.
We know that many young children already functionally and critically engage with electronic and conventional format texts in ways which they do not encounter in their classrooms when they begin school (Green and Bigum 1993; Mackey 1994; Smith et al. 1996). In the table below I have attempted to trace the technological advances that I faced during the course of my formative years of learning. The reactions ranged from hesitation to acceptance as I grew older. The theoretical developments which have occurred in the field of literacy need to be situated within the broader context, of the profound economic, social, political and cultural changes that have taken place over the past half century. These changes-described variously by theorists in terms of a 'post-industrial society', 'information society', 'information economy', 'knowledge society', 'global village', or as the embodiment of late capitalism or 'new times'-are here being theorised as symptomatic of a postmodern 'condition' or 'dominant' (Jameson 1984; 1991; Harvey 1989). As McHale points out, such concepts are 'discursive artifacts' or fictions, constructed by theorists to foreground particular aspects of contemporary society (McHale 1987, p.4). The changes that I encountered have altered my perception from being a Digital Immigrant to a wannabe digital native.
Reasons for use
Reaction Initial and Later
Story Books with big alphabets and colourful pictures
Learn alphabets as well as relate colours to things,
Provided entertainment in the story telling sessions by the teacher
Start of a habbit which I have sustained over the years
Building blocks with numbers
Learn numerals as well as entertainment
Very basic understanding, digressing to mental maths later and then calculators
Colour pens, pencils, papers, scissors
For entertainment as well as skill practice
Visual delight as well as a source of getting my clothes dirty!
Never could learn to draw neatly ,always had to take help
Radio and cassette players
Listening to cricket commentary, songs and news
Was enjoyable but I never had an ear for music
Coloured TV came to India in 1984 during the Asian Games in Delhi
Could not see it as I used to live far away from the city them. My dad travelled to see the games on TV
Used to communicate
Was initially curious about it but slowly as I grew older it became part and parcel of life
Chalk and Blackboards
Used as the basic tool of teaching
Have vivid memories of playing, eating as well as throwing the chalk around
1985 to 1990
Graphic lead pencils, pens, spiral notebooks, text books
For taking down notes
Was always excited at the start of the term as I used to get new set of textbook, copies, pens and pencils
Video Cassette Players
Entertainment purposes as well as watch recorded cassettes of social functions
Was a big rage initially with video libraries everywhere but has been now taken over by video CD's and DVD's. Only a memory now
Typewriters and photocopiers
To present written contexts neatly.
Take multiple copies
Was an easy way to get notes that I missed out if I did not go to the class. Still use the copier at work.
Take pictures on trips with family
Was great but got expensive later on to maintain albums and get prints of photos taken
Laboratory equipments, charts, animals for dissection and chemicals
Understand the concepts of Sciences
Practicals were always interesting as I could experiment with different chemicals.
Did not have much to do with them in school and was quite amazed with its potential and still am!
For recording cultural and social events as well as the development of my children
Moved on to them from cameras but were bulky to carry. Easier now with slimmer and lighter designs
Scanners and printers
For assignments at the University
Great tool for people with messy handwriting. Still being used.
Great for finding knowledge and information on any and every topic conceivable
Cannot imagine how we were living without it. Has a plethora of significant and insignificant information available
Communicating via the web
Letter writing became modern and the traditional post man was restricted to delivering Christmas cards.
Compact Discs Players
Digital version to the cassette player, easier to carry around
Carry bulk information in an easier manner
Less chances of information getting lost as compared to papers going missing from a file
Handy to carry and instant messaging
Great way of communication
Was very proud to have bought my first mobile when I started working although it weighed like a brick then unlike the slim and lightweight ones available now
2000 till 2010
Used for communication, education, entertainment
Used for capturing any event in time
Much smaller and easier to use, cheaper to take prints out
Connection globally for communication
Makes the use of the telephone redundant
ATM's and EFTPOS
Transaction of Money
Had not seen it in India and so took a little while getting used to not carrying cash around all the time. Would not go out without the card now!
External Hard Drives(USB's)
For carrying stuff like photos, music, any files
Easy to carry in my pocket or on a Lanyard
Some bigger ones run off external power
Communication as well as education tool
Found it hard to navigate initially but have now gotten used to it. Still have a lot of areas to explore
Online Libraries, CRO's
Initially thought it as too complex and left it. After the tutorial slowly getting used to using it to my needs
Personal Focus - Literacy and Numeracy Resources
What are some of the activities in your personal life that involve the use and understanding of literacy and numeracy resources for effective communication and meaning making?
Literacy and Numeracy Resources
Literacy and Numeracy Activities in my Personal Life
Books, magazines,journals,newspapers,emails,facebook,Twitter and other social networking sites, texts, lost and found notices, telephone directories(yellow and white),GPS, labels of the packaged goods, supermarket shelves, advertisements,timetables,dictionaries,school curricullum, children's homework, Moodle and other e-sites
Emails, Blogs,Facebook,Twitter and other social networking sites, job applications, Work orders, reports at work, cash sheets, stick-ons, Assignments, Lesson plans
With the kids , socialising, telephone, Skype, Interaction with customers at work, lecturers at University, neighbours, asking people for directions, Master of Ceremony at cultural evenings
Television, radio, conversations, kids feedback of school activities, friends, family get-togethers, IPods, Mobiles, Home theatres, practice sessions of musical instruments that kids are learning at school.
Mathematical concepts, thinking, skills applications
Cash sheets, daily food ordering, budgeting at work, making rosters for the managers as well as a large number of crew, ensuring all the labour laws are adhered to in terms of number of hours as well as the days, reading trip computers of the car, GPS applications, following schedules, making travel plans- calculating time and distances.
Visual signs, images, icons
Google Maps, Aisle signs at the supermarkets, Directional signs as well as rest signs on the motorways, Speed limits, traffic signals, Pedestrian crossings, MS OFFICE( floppy icon meaning save the document, scissors meaning cut etc.)
Technologies and software
Laptops, Ipads, Appliances used in our day to day lives like microwaves,benchtops,ovens,toaters,airconditoners,TV, Portable PlayStations, Nintendo Ds, WII's, Computers.
(b) What do you need to know in order to practise each of the literacies and numeracies you identified for each activity?
As Lo Bianco and Freebody have pointed out, while definitions of literacy vary
considerably, 'it is necessary to develop some coherent understanding of literacy that reflects the many capabilities required to become a participating member of a literate society' (Lo Bianco & Freebody 2001, p.20).
The basics of Literacy and Numeracy knowledge are the essential tools for us, to not only practise but deliver each of the literacies and numeracies. The Australian Government held the National Literacy and Numeracy week 2010 to highlight the importance of effective literacy and numeracy skills for all children and young people.It is very important for us to be able to comprehend as to why we need to be using that particular skill at that given time and what is the best use of that skill in order to perform the task. Adaptability for a person is an integral part of learning and developing the skills of literacy and numeracy.
(c) What different social and cultural groups were you brought into contact with as a result of engaging in these activities? (e.g. Parents and Citizens Association, parents at the Swimming Club, sporting groups, consumer at the supermarket)
"Effective learners will increasingly need to be autonomous and self-directed, flexible, collaborative, of open sensibility, broadly knowledgeable, and able to work productively with linguistic and cultural diversity" (Kalantzis M;Cope B;Harvey A- Assessing Multiliteracies and The New Basics) which is what I gathered during my time in India, working with the hospitality industry. I was lucky enough to be interacting with nationalities globally and the interaction with them gave me a new insight into their way of life and an understanding of the vast and varied culture that was all around me. I made new friends all over the world with my literacy skills and have kept in touch with them over the internet inspite of the distance and the years that have passed ever since.
Coming over to New Zealand with my family introduced me a whole new group of people to interact with, namely, the kindergarten and school teachers of my kids, my work colleagues from different cultural background(South African, Pakistan to name a few) as well friends made from the cricket club that my son was a part of. I met colleagues from my wife's workplace as well as our neighbours in a new country. My work enabled me to travel around for meetings and during my travels I would meet strangers in the hotels as well as staff from the hotel.
As the family grew bigger and I moved to Australia it was an enriching experience culturally as well as increased our circle of interaction as we had two sets (son and daughter) of activities to go to and met different coaches and parents.
Joining the university, albeit after a long time, has given me the opportunity to be a part of the GDLT group through the MOODLE as well as the faculty there.
I have used my speaking and listening skills in making new friends as well with use of technology like the internet, Facebook and Skype kept in constant touch with them.
(d) Did you already know, or did you have to learn appropriate cultural behaviour and/or body language or conventions of speech or language to make your meaning understood in these situations?
Knowledge of the influences culture has on behaviour can also give young people
greater insight into their own beliefs, feelings and actions (Dr. Nadia Lovett- Cross-cultural influences on the help-seeking behaviours of adolescent females.)
Coming from India I had a different cultural background but with my knowledge of English both spoken and written, it did not take me time to settle down. I had initial hiccups to understand the accent but because of my background in Hospitality as well as my prior experience of having interacted with people globally it was not long before I was a part of the group.
As my kids were born I started to accept the cultural demands as there was peer pressure on the kids as well as us. So now not only do I celebrate Holi and Diwali but also Easter and Christmas!! I have adapted myself to the Kiwi/Australian culture of beaches and barbeques and I have absolutely no complaints.
Albeit, I am from a different cultural background and have my own beliefs, I am yet to make my kids understand why we don't eat certain meats on certain days and why we go to the temple but I am flexible enough to let them make informed choices of their own.
Body language has been an integral part of my learning and growing up and I think it becomes all the more important when I am communicating with my kids and family in comparison to when I am with my friends, associates or teachers. My interaction with different sets of peoples from different walks of life has made me richer in experience.
5. Occupational Literacy Audit
Occupation: Restaurant Manager
Workplace: Quick Service Industry
Tasks performed: Hiring, Training, Ordering, Cash Flow Management, and Customer Service, Reporting, Reviews.
There is no doubt that literacy and numeracy are vital underpinning skills for effective and efficient VET (Fitzpatrick & Roberts 1997; ANTA 1998). The skills of literacy and numeracy are essential for success at work as it is the application of those skills to different tasks that rely on them. The skills of literacy and numeracy I garnered during my years of schooling and university helped me to become an effective and successful Manager. 'Workplace literacy', according to Askov and Aderman (1991), 'encompasses a variety of basic skills instructional programs offered at the workplace' (p.17), using which I was not only able to lead a team of people but also get them to deliver results for the company I worked for.
The table below explains as to how I have used the skills during the course of my work.
What reading, writing, viewing, speaking, listening, mathematical processes or calculations are required and what technologies and software are used?
List specific examples of the use of these literacy and numeracy tasks in particular situations you encounter( or have encountered) as part of this occupation//job
Customer Comment Forms
Quotes & Invoices
From my colleagues as well as Boss
In-store as well as created from Head Office
Check every Tuesday as that is the start of the new week
Every shift done by the manager
Customer feedback- good, bad or ugly!
Information about the POP and how to put it up on display
Any information related to a marketing campaign
Temperature check done on the checklist with the help of probes and thermometers
Quotes from contractors for any new construction and invoices for the same or other regular suppliers.
Manager s appraisal
For the store as well as the District Manager
Feedback to crew members on their performance
Every six months for their promotion to the next level
For any clarifications as well as sending reports
Through internet and fax to suppliers
The computer screen
The POS(cash register)
The equipment used in preparation of food
Crew members- them and their files
The customer flow
For checking all correspondence, emails, Crew online tests
For all customer transactions, cash out
Broiler for meat, fryer for deep fried items, microwaves, shake machine, soft drink dispensors, D/T timer, Headsets
Three weeks rotating roster for the managers
Checking crew details for compliance to labour laws
To ensure they are meeting the company standards
To increase or decrease production as per the number of customers
Watch out for traffic going through the Drive through to prepare accordingly
For making a rapport with them, getting feedback-good or bad
To any other issue like rostering, breaks
For feedback, advice as well as reprimand
For enquiries, feedback, general conversation, follow-up
Different beeps and noises from various fridges and fryers
For feedback, advice
For Teach and coach, induction
For suggestions, feedback and two way conversation during the quarterly meeting
During daily interaction as well as Weekly meetings
Mathematical Concepts, Processes, Calculations
Use of the Eftpos machine for payments, cash outs
Balancing of the Float
Reporting of sales, Speed of service, Night reports
Understanding the different reports generated
Training the crew and the Mangers to use the machine correctly
Counting the tills at the end of every shift and balancing them
To enter the sales and balance the register, question the shortages
Doing the orders correctly keeping in mind special events, holidays, long weekends
Preparing Night reports correctly and emailing them to Head Office
Figure out ways to improve from the data available
Technology and Software
Multi function printer
Drive through timer
Used for preparing analysis, communication, resetting the store registers, back of the house reports, Intranet
For customer transactions as well as cash outs
To communicate with Computer techs for resetting the store computers
MFC for printing, faxing and scanning
Timer for keeping an eye on the Speed of service to keep up with company standards
For banking of large amounts of money generated through the day, collected twice a week by security
Improve the store's performance
Better achievement of budgets
Analyse the results of the store and brain storm ways to improve the performance of the store
Work out measures to put in place to achieve budgets and improve upon previous year's performance.
Meet at Christmas functions and dinners
Crew day out
Quarterly district meeting, Restaurant mangers conference
General conversation and feedback
SCHOOL/FORMAL LEARNING FOCUS
6. (a) How have you managed the transition from high school literacies to university?
For me the journey has been an engaging one as I finished my high school ages back (1990) and then 'have been working for the past 15 years. Although during that time I tried to keep in touch with studies by doing courses, like Certificate 4 in Hospitality and TAA (certificate 4), the transition to the university was still a quantum leap. What has held me in good stead are the literacy and numeracy skills that I have acquired over the years not only from my schooling but a lot from my workplace. The use of computers as a part of the learning was not so prevalent during my times in high school but as I progressed to the college in India I was given a glimpse of things to come. I was still practicing the rote way of learning where in the exams had to be passed by answering question paper in three hours. One was graded as per the quality of answers provided in the answer sheet which certainly was the case in high school. The certificate 4 course in Hospitality was more of a work based course which used the skills I had gathered during my working years and was not at all daunting to me. The skills I learned helped me to educate my crew and fellow managers.
Joining, the GDLT course in the CQ University has changed my perspective towards learning as it is more self regulated in contrast to the earlier learning, where the teaching was structured and attendance in classes was mandatory, to be able to appear for exams. Time management skills become paramount when doing a course like GDLT as I am more of an independent learner and my best way of communication is through the email, discussion forums etc. I am still fortunate enough to be able to go to the lectures, even though it is once a week, in order to clarify my doubts through the help of wonderful lecturers. The human touch is missing in my studies although I have been able to interact with my peers as well as lecturers over emails and phones which was not how I learned in my earlier days.
(b)Types of literacy and numeracy I encountered as a student
Audio and Visual Media
Oral and visual Literacies
Movies, videos, Television
As per the requirement of the subject
Information and communications technology(ICT)
Lectures, Speeches, Presentations, Models
In print as well as from Moodle
To be precise and accurate
Numerical Literacy, Mathematical concepts and applications.
Applied sciences and mathematics
Decipher graphs, tables and charts
Technology and Software
The use of Moodle
Use of teleconferencing for flex students
Social and Cultural
Accepting and showing respect to people from varied cultural backgrounds
Higher Order Thinking
Critical deconstructions, analytical representations, mathematical applications
(c) Impact of these different "literacies" and "numeracies" on me as a student
"National surveys of adults' self-report of problems in literacy and numeracy show that about 12 per cent of the adult population believe their basic skills are not adequate to meet the demands of everyday life. National surveys of adults' attainment in literacy and numeracy show that about 20 per cent of the adult population have less than functional literacy, and about 20 per cent have poor numeracy." (Research Brief No 220 of Department for Education and Employment). Being literate gives me the confidence to go out and be a part of the society where in my contribution is regarded as important as well. The literacies and numeracies I learned in my formative years in school as well as work have helped me to keep up with the different format of studies that I am doing presently. It has given me the confidence to interact socially and culturally. Mere familiarity with the skills is not adequate. I need to be competent so as to present my views more logically as well as decipher the needs of the subject that I am dealing with. These skills have given me the tools to express myself in the different assignments that I do as well as being able to research for them from the various resources available to me. It is very important to use the skills of literacy and numeracy together so as to get the maximum gains out of learning.
(7) My understanding of relationship between concepts of Literacy and Numeracy
For me the relationship of the concepts of literacy and numeracy has far reaching implications not only for a student or a teacher but for the society itself. The former federal Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr Kemp in the midst of a recent 'literacy crisis' stated: There are direct links between poor literacy, school dropout rates and youth unemployment (DEETYA 1996a),
In my opinion the skills of literacy and numeracy are essential tools for anyone going out to look for employment in the current globalised world and a lack of these skills could have far reaching repercussions. To be "successful", literacy forms a core part of it; being called "educated" is valued highly in the society we live in. It gives you all the so called 'flash' things in life.
I would like to focus on what the essence of "literacy" is to an individual or a group, irrespective of their existing literacy skills. In other words, how literacy used and what is its importance for people from different backgrounds in different social scenarios. It follows from the work of researchers such as Freebody (1992) who argues for the need to study 'in a principled ethnographic sense' everyday literacy practices in specific communities. In this new era the notion of literacy needs to be reconceived as plurality of literacies (Unsworth 2001). That is how "new literacies "and "multiliteracies" were coined. The 'new literacy studies' focus on the social nature of literacy, on micro literacy events and the practices that shape them that are used by people in their everyday lives (see Barton 1991, Barton and Hamilton 2000).As part of this 'social turn' as Gee (2000) calls it, numeracy studies have also developed along similar lines
This would have implications for us teachers as well as we are bound by an inflated notion of the term literacy and numeracy. We would need to define the culture of the place and how best we can fit in within the present practices prevalent in the community. Teachers would need to learn to become more 'strategic' in their approach to teaching and learning (Foley 2001) and would need to learn to interrogate workplace curriculum/texts in order to better represent the interests of workers (see Castleton 2000, Farrell 2001, Jackson 2000).
A good mix of the literacy and numeracy skills is required for not only being a successful teacher but also a good citizen who can contribute positively to the growth of the society.
8. Reading and Responding Views of Quantitative literacy and numeracy Across the Curriculum.
(a) Do you agree/disagree with the views? Why?
Kolata (1997) argues that, Quantitative literacy, means knowing how to reason and how to think, and it is all but absent from our curricula today. Beyond arithmetic and geometry, quantitative literacy also requires logic, data analysis, and probability. It enables individuals to analyze evidence, to read graphs, to understand logical arguments, to detect logical fallacies, to understand evidence, and to evaluate risks. Quantitative literacy means knowing how to reason and how to think. (Gina Kolata, 1997). Porter (1997) does not exaggerate when he writes: "By now numbers surround us. No important aspect of life is beyond their reach". Even if we manage to keep our heads above water (Steen, 2001), we can be sure that "The world of the 21st century will be a world awash in numbers". I agree with the views of Hallet (2001) in the article, as Quantitative literacy is necessary in the contemporary world. It is also suggested above, that it is very important to look in the context of learning and get away from continuing to "climb the ladder of abstraction". Mathematics is about general principles that can be applied in a range of contexts; quantitative literacy is about seeing every context through a quantitative lens. (Hughes-Hallet, 2001).The 5th Dimension of Learning Habits of Mind (Marzano et.al 1997) deals with creative thinking and creating a culture in the classroom and the school that encourages the development and use of habits of mind. It encourages critical and self regulated thinking. If quantitative literacy is the ability to identify quantitative relationships in a range of contexts, it must be taught in context. Thus, quantitative literacy is everyone's responsibility (Hughes-Hallet, 2001). Mathematics is more than just having knowledge about formulas and equations. Achieving improvement in the delivery of quantitative numeracy, will have to involve a broad spectrum of people, including the teachers from all levels and institutions as well as the government. The society needs to be educated and informed and all this needs to be done through fostering a successful relationship with media.
Challenges of achieving the implementation of numeracy in my teaching areas?
"Quantitative literacy requires one to understand the nature of mathematics and its role in scientific inquiry and technological progress; to grasp sufficient mathematics to understand important scientific and engineering concepts; and to possess quantitative skills sufficient for responding critically to scientific issues in the media and public life". F. James Rutherford.
For me, as a science teacher, it is all the more important to have, the practical aspects of learning for my students incorporated in my teaching style and the delivery of these quantitative pedagogical strategies is something I am looking forward to. In school education, numeracy is a fundamental component of learning, across all areas of the curriculum. It involves the disposition to use, in context, a combination of: underpinning mathematical concepts and skills from across the discipline (numerical, spatial, graphical, statistical and algebraic); mathematical thinking and strategies; general thinking skills; and grounded appreciation of context.(Report of the Numeracy Education Strategy Development Conference, Numeracy = Everyone's Business (October 1997) adopted by Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers) The Queensland Government Numeracy framework (2007-2010) further breaks it down to elements like Understanding numeracy, Teacher Knowledge and Pedagogy, numeracy across the curriculum where the aim is to improve teacher understanding of numeracy in order to enhance student knowledge, identifying the numeracy demands and opportunities in all learning areas. The test would be to engage and improve the confidence of the students so they are ready to face the challenge of the real world once they finish their studies.
(c) NUMERACY FRAMEWORK
Being numerate within a context involves a blend of three types of know-how
and three roles
The fluent operator
Willis, S. and Hogan, J. (2000)
Yes, I agree with the above framework, as it provided me with an overlying lens to look at the classroom numeracy practices and explore numeracy across the curriculum Being numerate requires a blend of mathematical, contextual and strategic know-how and has the capacity to take on the roles of the fluent operator, the learner and the critic (Willis, S. and Hogan, J. 2000) Students may use these know-hows in ways they think are best suited to their problems. The numeracy frame encompasses the view that numeracy extends beyond mathematical concepts into practical application in actual events (Wadet et al, 2005) where in the user can be a fluent operator, learner and critic (Western Australia Department of Education and training et al, 2005) Mathematics is about general principles that can be applied in a range of contexts; quantitative literacy is about seeing every context through a quantitative lens. (Hughes-Hallett, 2001) It is very clear that the frame work encourages the use of contextual thinking by the use of scenarios from everyday life.
(d) Challenges in implementing the Numeracy Framework in my teaching areas
A quantitative approach would be needed while designing pedagogical experiences if I need to implement the numeracy framework. The challenge would be to identify the numeracy in my teaching area and how parts of the framework may be applied in it. Some other ideas would be to:
Undertake a numeracy audit of the curriculum across all key learning areas and phases of learning and identify the numeracy skills required to achieve success.
Identifying numeracy learning opportunities is another avenue that needs to be focused on.
Develop professional development programs and materials to build teacher capacity.
Identify numeracy demands and opportunities in all key learning areas.
Adopt teaching practices that explicitly incorporate the opportunity to develop numeracy requirements relevant to the task.
Assess the learner's current understanding of numeracy and extend and develop the student's ability.( Queensland Government Numeracy Framework for Action, 2007-2010)
Science subjects generally have a numeracy skills already as a part of the curriculum hence the only challenge would be to develop activities that actually take into account the contextual application of numeracy skills. This will be in conjunction with the schools numeracy programme so that the students become mathematically, contextually and strategically literate (Willis-Hogan, DEST report, 2005)
9. Four Literacy Resources
Significance of the "four necessary but not sufficient 'roles' for the reader in a postmodern, text-based culture" (Luke and Freebody, 1999, p.1 of 21) for my future teaching/training area/s?
The four resource model described by Luke and Freebody (1999) has been explained as under-
Code breaker "How do I crack this code?"
This involves being able to decode and encode language at an appropriate level of proficiency. It includes recognising and being able to speak and write words and sentences; it incorporates phonics and the use of accurate spelling and grammar.
Text Participant "What does this mean to me?"
Students use their knowledge of the world, knowledge of vocabulary and knowledge of how language works, to comprehend and compose texts. Examples include: predicting the style and content of a television program from the opening titles. Comparing the worlds created in two science fiction films.
Text User "What do I do with this text?"
Students understand how language varies according to context, purpose, audience and content, and are able to apply this knowledge. Examples: creating an information leaflet for a sporting club; choosing an appropriate style for a letter or phone call thanking a visiting speaker.
Text Analyst "What does this text do to me?"
Students critically analyse and challenge the way texts are constructed to convey particular ideas and to influence people. Examples: looking at newspaper photographs to consider who is not represented and why this might be; re-writing fairy tales to present different ideas about gender or class. (retrieved from the literacy section of the English Website http://www.education.tas.gov.au/english/liteng.htm#four)
Luke and Freebody (1999) wanted to develop a model that attempted to recognize and incorporate many of the current, well-developed techniques for training students in becoming literate. The idea was to shift the main focus from trying to find the right method to determine whether the range of practices emphasized in a reading program was indeed covering and integrating the broad repertoire of textual practices required in today's economies and cultures. It was meant to be more of a map of the normative terrain of possible practices -- the "selective tradition" -- in any classroom. The model was to be practical as well as develop on the understanding of a group of students' existing repertoires of linguistic, cultural, and textual practices, and from a sense of the kind of life trajectories that might be possible and relevant for those students. (http://www.readingonline.org/research/lukefreebody.html)The idea is not to criticize about a particular teaching method of whether it is working or not as they are all helping towards shaping the literate repertoires in individual classrooms. All of them have their goals which are displayed by the teachers conducting the classes. Luke and Freebody (1999) refer to these four resources as "family of practices" so that none of them can be used effectively on its own. It is the responsibility of the teachers to be teaching numeracy and literacy across the board irrespective of their subjects.
For my teaching area of science it can be used by me in making a programme where in the tasks and activities are scaffolded as per Dimension of Learning (Marzano et.al.) giving a more synthesized and positive learning outcome.
(b) Combination of 'competencies' and 'roles' in relation to 'literacy learning'
Literacy is the flexible and sustainable mastery of a repertoire of practices with texts of traditional and new communications technologies via spoken language, print and multimedia. (Literate Futures, Luke, Freebody and Land, 2000)
Since reading and writing are social, being a successful reader is being able to participate in those social activities in which written text plays an important role. For the necessary status of a role for the reader that entails conscious awareness of the language and idea systems that are brought into play when a text is constructed and that makes the text operate and thus that makes the reader, usually covertly, into its operator. The general line here is based on the notion that all discourse entails a particular construction or version of its readership with respect not only to the degree of topic knowledge assumed, but also to more dispositional resources such as the ideological position of the reader (Freebody, Luke and Gilbert 1991).Peter Freebody, has tried to provide a broad backdrop to issues arising in literacy education, arguing for the necessary status of four roles in any characterisation of successful reading as it is currently demanded and expected in our society: the roles of code-breaker ('How do I crack this?'), text participant ('What does this mean?'), text user ('What do I do with this, here and now?'), and text-analyst ('What does this do to me?'). We are no more 'successful' readers if we are prey to manipulative texts, than we are if we cannot decode. With these roles in mind, one has to be careful against mistaking the resources necessary for successful literacy for those that are both necessary and sufficient. Teaching, however, is divided on two crucial points: (a) the sequencing of instruction in these four roles; and (b) the necessary degree of explanation in instruction of these roles. (http://www.myread.org/readings_freebody.htm)
I believe it depends on the school policies and the expertise of the teacher as to how best to fit the framework in the learning experience with the goal to judge the requirements of the student, in an attempt to better their literacy issues (Queensland Government, Education Queensland, 2002)
(c) Relation of the model to my existing knowledge of teaching, reading as well as my learning
I have had no prior teaching experience and having migrated to a new country with different socio-cultural background I am, probably in the 'code breaker' realm wherein I can use, read and write the language. I have been aware of the socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political aspect of the Four Resource Model (Luke and Freebody, 1999), while I was working as well those skills came in handy and I developed them further. I am aware that these skills are the basic building blocks for other literacies to be structured on.
The model equips us, as teachers, with a shared language and a common conceptual framework for:
thinking about texts and textual practices
auditing their current practice and for
planning more systematically to engage and support students in developing independent literacy resources.
Nevertheless me as a teacher may find the need to focus more on one aspect than others at different times according to the demands of the learning task, context or purpose. (VELS Level 4 - Teaching Reading Using the Four Resources Model: Code Breaking) retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/teachingresources/english/literacy/strategies/4codebreaktsl4.htm)
The Four resource model has provided me the necessary frame work where in, I can educate my students by marrying the learning experience with quantitative goals. In essence I can teach them to read and understand the actual meaning within and across the curriculum.
( a ) After doing the various readings of 'literacy' and 'numeracy' I have not only got a deeper understanding of the terms but also clarification of a misconception that they are only words that are taught and learnt in English classes in the case of 'literacy' , and 'numeracy' being done in a mathematics class. I have been able to conceive new ideas about these terms and the contexts in which they are and can be used. Literacy and numeracy are essential tools for equitable and empowered participation not only in society but also workplace (Lonsdale and Mc Curry). Even the National Partnership Agreement on Literacy and Numeracy developed by Council of Australian Governments outlines the outcomes against the performance indicators as under,
Young people are meeting basic literacy and numeracy standards, and overall levels of literacy and numeracy achievement are improving.
Literacy and numeracy achievement of Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in national testing.
Australian students excel by international standards.
The proportion of students in the bottom and top levels of performance in international testing (for example Program for International Student Assessment and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Retrievedfrom(http://www.coag.gov.au/intergov_agreements/federal_financial_relations/docs/national_partnership/national_partnership_on_literacy_and_numeracy.pd).The above plan focuses on three main priority reform areas:
Effective and evidence based teaching of literacy and numeracy
Monitoring student and school literacy and numeracy performance to identify where support is needed and;
Strong school leadership and whole school engagement with literacy and numeracy(Department of Education and Training, Northern Territory Government, 2009) .In summary the literacy and numeracy effort under the plan Involves
(Retrieved from http://www.det.nt.gov.au/smarterschools/literacy-and-numeracy)
Both literacy and numeracy are equally important and described as 'Basic Thinking Parallel' (Thornton and Hogan, 2003). While literacy theories are strongly attached to context (Gee, 2000) numeracy needs to be approached quantitatively, rising above the text (Willis, 1990, Hughes-Hallet, 2003).The Four Literacy Resource Model (Luke and Freebody, 1999) along with the Dimensions of Learning (Marzano et.al, 207) can help plan and deliver teaching strategies that can improve upon the results of my students.
(b) What do I still need to know and be able to do with respect to incorporating literacy and numeracy within my teaching practices?
The investigations carried out earlier have given me a wealth of resources and knowledge to improve and imbibe teaching skills, in order to incorporate literacy and numeracy aspects of learning. The Four Resource framework (Luke and Freebody, 1999) will allow me to shape my learning experience. Being a science teacher, it becomes all the more important for me to plan activities with quantitative approach (Steen, L.A(ed), 2001).,Utilising multiple literacies (Lonsdale and Mc Curry, 2004, p.15) and develop pedagogical strategies with the aim to involve the students towards the desired learning outcomes (Rivalland, 2000, p.1). As outlined in the National Literacy Review Report (May 2008, p.7) Commissioned by the Human Capital Working Group, Council of Australian Governments-
That all systems and schools recognise that, while mathematics can be taught in the context of mathematics lessons, the development of numeracy requires experience in the use of mathematics beyond the mathematics classroom, and hence requires an across the curriculum commitment. Both pre- and in-service teacher education should thus recognise and prepare all teachers as teachers of numeracy, acknowledging that this may in some cases be 'subject specific numeracy'. While continuous feedback is important it is vital for me to check and deliver the school literacy standards and use my learning techniques to teach the aspect of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum. It becomes imperative for me to be critically analyzing my strengths and weaknesses, continuously strive to learn in order to become not only a successful role model for my students but also a good citizen of the society who can contribute positively towards its growth.