Where Teaching and Learning Matter
Here are some of my impressions - and it would be great if others could add theirs! What did you take away from the seminar?
Helen Casey is the Director of the NRDC, the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy in England. She shared some experiences and research results with us, focusing on four areas: returns on investment in adult learning; family learning; embedded approaches; and teacher education and professional development for adult literacy tutors. Her ability to look with participants at the relevance of the findings for teachers in New Zealand ensured that the seminar was not just information sharing but exchange and exploration.
The NRDC's studies on embedding in England have shown how embedded LLN can help students to succeed in their studies (eg a raise in completion rate from 61 to 78% where LLN is embedded in the studies). Helen drew on a number of reports out of 161 so far published through the Centre. One of the studies looked at teacher characteristics in relation to learners' progress in numeracy. One of the findings is that a combination of experience and qualification matter.
The answer to the question 'What works best?' is often rich and varied. And how does one find out? Helen finished the seminar by emphasising the importance of practicioner-led action research to inform and develop practice, policy and research. Of course it is very encouraging for the Academic Literacies Team to hear Helen recommending action research as a key methodology in achieving change in embedding LLN!
The link to NRDC