The Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT) is to be targeted at appropriately trained and qualified VET practitioners and would provide an assessment of an individual’s foundation skill levels using two Australian Government frameworks - the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) and the Core Skills for Work (CSfW) Developmental Framework. In addition the tool would assist in targeting foundation skill interventions to a maximum benefit and enable reporting on foundation skills training in a consistent way.
ACER is interested in hearing from interested VET and employment services providers to be involved in focus groups and trials in order to provide feedback and to trial and test the assessment system and the questions to be used in the various assessments.
Northern Territory teacher and ACAL member Ros Bauer has won the national Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award at the 2013 Australian Training Awards in Perth. Ros was also a presenter at the 2013 ACAL Conference.
The award recognises individuals who have demonstrated outstanding innovation and excellence in the delivery of English language, literacy and numeracy skills in an educational community or workplace context.
'Literacy: a learning spiral for life'
Literacy learning can be described as a spiral Learners go through a stage once or many times throughout their lives.
Join us October 2-4, 2014 at Surfers Paradise.
Conference sessions are being loaded on to the web as they become available.
Our thanks to participants, session presenters and keynote speakers for a great conference.
Applications extended to 13 December 2013
The Australian government Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Practitioner Scholarships Program seeks to assist in addressing skill shortages in the adult LLN field in Australia by increasing the number of qualified LLN practitioners, particularly in regional areas. The Program provides a scholarship of up to $5,250 to successful applicants to support them in undertaking approved study toward an adult LLN practitioner qualification commencing in the academic year following the application round.
ACER has announced details of their two-day National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference in early May 2014. The theme is 'Foundation skills and lifelong learning – what does the evidence from international assessments tell us about improving work and life skills?'.
The two-day conference will examine the latest results of both the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) surveys. The conference will discuss the implications for both policy and practice, for not only all education sectors but also for lifelong learning and full participation as an individual, as a community member and as a worker. Keynote speakers will include a range of international and national speakers who have been involved in the development and analysis of both the PIAAC and PISA surveys. Other sessions will include stories from a range of sectors about how to work successfully with youth and adults to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.
The University of Tasmania is leading an Office of Learning and Teaching Grant, ‘Development of mathematics pathways for VET students to articulate to related higher education courses’. Flinders University, University of Notre Dame Australia and James Cook University are partners on this project along with TasTAFE, West Coast Institute and Tropical North Queensland TAFE.
During this first year we are developing pathways for Education (with a focus on primary and early childhood) and Engineering and starting in 2014 we will be developing pathways into Business and Health Sciences. The project will link specific VET qualifications with related HE courses and identifying the gap of maths competencies between the two, then developing resources and/or courses to fill the gap.
All of the resources developed will be available as open education resources and accessed through the project website. The initial two pathways for Education and Engineering are in the final stages of development and we are interested in getting the word out about the project.
The website with the Education pathway and all learning modules will be live in 2014
Answers to these questions are being explored through a national project to scope the development of a foundation skills professional standards framework.
The scoping project was intended to generate discussion among those working in foundation skills to define and strengthen the identity of the field, advance the status and standing of the profession and explore options for developing professional standards.
Here are the responses from ACAL and from the states.
PIAAC is an international survey of adult skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and problem solving.
Thanks to Jan Hagston, Multifangled P/L, member PIAAC Literacy Expert group and Dave Tout, ACER, member PIAAC Numeracy Expert group for this article on PIAAC.
What is PIAAC?
What do the preliminary results tell us?
What don’t the results tell us?
Why take part in surveys like PIAAC?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the preliminary findings of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). An iteration of the 2006/7 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS), PIAAC assesses adults' proficiency in literacy and numeracy and problem-solving in a technology rich environment.
The Australian Council of Education Research (ACER), in its media release 'International study reveals serious adult literacy and numeracy problems', says 'Australia still has much to do in the area of workplace and vocational education and training (VET)'. The ACER questions 'whether trainers, teachers and learner support staff in the VET sector themselves have the skills and tools' to identify LLN skills of their learners, and whether 'they have the skills, resources and time to actively develop learners' literacy and numeracy ...'.
It is easy to feel alarmed by the PIAAC statistics (44% in the lowest two bands for literacy, 55% in the lowest two brands for numeracy) and as practitioners, to distrust what we know about our learners and/ or our own skills and practices of working with our learners.
Adult literacy and numeracy provision, policy and practices must be informed by a range of sources - not excluding the PIAAC, but including practitioners' own experiences, our learners' voices, and the wealth of other studies and research that are available to us.
PIAAC results and their implications for adult literacy and numeracy must be examined and debated closely and critically by all stakeholders. ACAL is providing the opportunity for all those interested in adult literacy and numeracy to do just that at our annual conference in October. ACAL has invited Professor Mary Hamilton, an international leader in adult literacy research and Dr Jeff Evans, an adult numeracy researcher and member of the international numeracy expert team in the design of PIAAC to speak to the conference and engage us in a discussion about how we can understand the PIAAC and how we might respond.
In the meantime, ACAL members might read the excellent Fine Print articles by Mary Hamilton and Geri Pancini, both of whom help us to understand the crisis discourse created by studies such as ALLS and PIAAC.
Hamilton, M 2012, Adult literacy in a global marketplace, Fine Print, 35(2), 14-18, 22.
Pancini, G 2012, Deconstructing the literacy crisis, Fine Print, 35(3), 3-7, 40.
The NCVER website has a glossary of terms that are very useful and updated regularly. The glossary includes:
VET terms and concepts, including adult and continuing education and lifelong learning
Australian VET organisations and some key international VET organisations
Key Australian historical documents
New readers will need to register, but there is no cost.