ACAL state representatives have been considering aspects of adult literacy and numeracy that are presented in Conversation Starters. The papers are the views and perspectives of the author and the ACAL committee encourages you all to have a read and use this as both a means of professional development as well as an opportunity to start conversations. We hope they stimulate your thinking and provide an opening for discussions with others to explore the issues.
Conversation Starter 5
Policy or Perish: Future-proofing Literacy Provision by Debra Urquhart
For many years, there has been continued apprehension regarding the narrowness of literacy funding and the programs that can be offered. This disappointment commenced with the Australian Language and Literacy Policy (ALLP) of 1991, when those in the field saw a policy shift from a social equity perspective to a human capital approach. This angst has been sustained with the release of the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults (NFSSA) in September 2012. This ‘Strategy’, maintained the status quo; with no new programs proposed and no additional funding assigned to those currently in operation.
Conversation Starter 4
‘Health literacy provision: Can health and adult literacy workers collaborate effectively in this increasingly important space?’ by Ann Kelly
As the average age of citizens has increased and diseases, such as diabetes, have become prevalent among many populations, governments and other stakeholders have committed to improving the ability of people to take control of their own health and, simultaneously, lessen the increasing national economic burden that is an outcome of this situation.
Conversation Starter 3
‘PIAAC The International Adult Literacy survey – should Australia take part?’ by Pam Osmond
ACAL members across Australia have been considering the value of PIAAC. Pam Osmond, from NSWALNC provides a summary of the debate around PIAAC. We hope it stimulates your thinking and provides an opening for discussions with others to explore the issues.
Conversation Starter 1
‘VET Literacy Teachers: Our Unique Value Proposition’ by Debra Urquhart
In her paper, Debra Urquhart, NSW State Representative, discusses the identity of adult literacy teachers within the vocational education and training (VET) sector. Debra examines this unique position through a debate on qualifications, professional development, curricula as well as regulatory frameworks.
Conversation Starter 2
‘The Deficit Model of Education – Impacts on Learners and Teachers’ by Rhonda Pelletier
Rhonda Pelletier, Victorian State representative has prepared a paper on the deficit approach. This is timely indeed, with many speakers at the conference referring to issues around the deficit approach to adult literacy and numeracy. Rhonda has explored the history of the approach and considered how it is reflected in Australia today.