Web version ACAL

June 2019

In this issue

CORRECTED LINK - The earlier version of this newsletter had an incorrect link (did you pick it?) Other people's poor checking.

1. From the Co-Presidents

2. ACAL Conference update

3. ACAL Committee changes

4. State matters

5. Have you read it? 'Literacy Lost'

6. Conversation starter - Policy or Perish

7. Bags of literacy - WAALC style

8. NCVER Research coming out soon

9. Corrections Conference 'Unlock your potential'

1. From the Co-Presidents

The weather is starting to chill and the winter solstice is upon us as we realise it's already half way through the year and we are still discussing the issues around LN qualifications. ACAL continues to assert that quality adult literacy and numeracy learning is supported by teachers who understand both adult education theory and adult literacy and numeracy learning theory. An increasing concern is the dwindling opportunity to undertake a qualification in adult literacy and/or numeracy teaching.

This month we thank Debra Urquhart for another insightful conversation starter. Debra raises questions about policy, funding, qualifications, and currency. The conversation starter presents an overview of the current issues facing the LN field and is sure to start you thinking and questioning. 

These recent conversations have also stemmed our interest in providing some leadership to support members as they describe and demonstrate their currency. This has been an ongoing conversation that has been happening within the ACAL Committee and we recognise the challenges of this when Foundation Skills are aligned with VET delivery. It has never been a simple fit and continues to present challenges to both practitioners and organisations.

Message us on Facebook or email: Who is the youngest qualified adult LN specialist that you know? What qualification do they have and where did they get it? What does currency look like for you? We're interested in generating discussion round this because our field does not seem to have a succession plan or a clear industry to provide leadership! 

The other critical information to share at the moment is that the call for papers for the 2019 ACAL conference has been extended and now closes on the 12th of July. We hope that many of you consider taking this opportunity to share your ideas and experience with the wider community.

FSK Update

ACAL continues to work with the Education IRC to provide direction for the FSK training package. Continuous improvement is essential in many of our workplaces, it is what drives our work with students to achieve positive outcomes. The work on the FSK with the IRC and PwC as the Skills Service Organisation is also an example of continuous improvement. The feedback that the LLN community provides has been and continues to be essential in the refinement of this training package. It is expected that the Case for Endorsement for this training Package will go before the AISC in August.

Daniella Mayer and Jo Medlin, Co-Presidents

2. ACAL Conference update

Critical Re-imaginings 2019 ACAL Conference

Keynote abstracts

Some of our keynote speakers have provided abstracts

Dr Roslyn Appleby, University of Technology Sydney

Prof. Dr. Anke Grotlueschen, Hamburg University, Germany

Prof. Ralf St. Clair, University of Victoria, Canada

Bob Boughton to give Arch Nelson Address

Bob BoughtonAt an ACAL conference a distinguished person in the field is asked to give an address in honour of Arch Nelson, a pioneer in adult education.

Dr Bob Boughton has been announced as the presenter of the 2019 Arch Nelson Address.

I first met Bob when he supervised my Masters at UNE in the 1990s. Bob opened my eyes to literacy as a social movement, Freire and the power of education in changing lives on a mass scale. He allowed me to become someone who sought the ‘big picture’. Later I followed his progress as he brought literacy to the masses in Timor  Leste. More recently I was inspired by meeting graduates of the Literacy For Life campaign that Bob has shared with remote Aboriginal communities. I was so impressed by the changes to their lives that the participants described that it started my own journey back into teaching from the management space I had wandered into. I hope you can join us in Sydney to be inspired by Bob and by two of my other ‘literacy heroes’ who are also presenting- Keiko Yasukawa and Jo Lo Bianco. Come along and rediscover why literacy matters!

Jo Medlin

Call For Abstracts - extended to July 12, 2019

ACAL invites submissions of abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the 2019 ACAL conference e-programme. This year ACAL is inviting proposals for presentations in two categories:

  1. the usual type of presentations, which may be a workshop, activity or non-refereed paper presentations , and

  2. peer reviewed academic paper presentations for which additional requirements apply.

3. ACAL Committee changes

This month we farewell Robeka Somers who is handing the Tasmania committee member role to Cath Ralston. We thank Robeka for the input and insight she brought to the role. As Tassie rep Robeka has kept us updated with 26ten and the amazing programs being rolled out, usually making us all quite jealous when she talks about the funding and reach of literacy programs across the state! As we tell our students, there's always the ability to change and renew your career and we wish Robeka the best in her new role where she will enrich the lives of a whole new cohort.

Thanks Robeka and welcome Cath.

4. State matters

WAALC AGM - Save the date

Tuesday, August 13, 5.00 pm A224 NMTAFE  Leederville Campus.

Details next month.

VALBEC admin vacancy

Long-serving administrator, Don MacDowall has announced he intends to retire from the VALBEC administrator role in mid-September so VALBEC are planning to appoint a new contractor.

Applications close Wednesday July 31st.

5. Have you read it?

A review of documents relating to adult literacy and numeracy

This month Ann Kelly, QCAL representative takes us to Canada.

New Canadian Report: Literacy Lost: Canada's Basic Skills Shortfall by Janet lane and T. Scott Murray, published by Canada West Foundation, December 2018.

The authors of this report, present a 'complex picture' of the literacy skills needs and trends in Canada. They suggest there is no 'quick fix'; rather, a range of diverse strategies must be implemented to address these issues. Recommendations include: investigating the 'market' for skills, 'especially literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills' and the embedding of 'literacy in all workforce education and training initiatives for both youth and working-aged adults.

6. Conversation starter - Policy or Perish

Finger friendsThe papers are the views and perspectives of the author and the ACAL committee encourages you to read and use this as both a means of professional development as well as an opportunity to start conversations.

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.

7. Bags of literacy - WAALC style

WAALC conference bags

For this year's WAALC State Conference, the committee were able to support a local small enterprise that is run through an adult education class. The class is one of many run through Centacare Employment and Training in WA.

The business, 'About Us Mob' was started as a response to an incident of racism directed towards a young Indigenous man during smoko that shook him and his class mates. The class was stopped after he told the story, a class discussion was had and some brainstorming was done about how the class could spread a positive message to the area about Aboriginal people and their culture. They wanted to turn fear and discrimination into celebration. A t-shirt business was the option chosen.

8. NCVER Research coming out soon

NCVER is researching the role of community education providers in providing foundation courses in regional Australia and how the provision and acquisition of these skills might contribute to the entry into VET or employment and the development of local social capital. Over the last three months, project leader Associate Professor Lisel O'Dwyer and Dr Mandy Mihelic have been analysing survey data and conducting one-on-one interviews with community education providers about their experiences and views of providing foundation courses. Some key findings emerging so far include:

 The project has begun the final report-writing stage. The full report will be available toward the end of 2019 via NCVER's website and will be circulated to stakeholders in the field of community education and literacy and numeracy. As well as presenting the results of the survey and consultations, it will include a review of all relevant Australian research on the provision of foundation courses in regional areas by community education providers.

9. Corrections Conference 'Unlock your potential'

ACEA Conference 2019 in Melbourne, 13-16 October, offers workshops across five key streams; Youth Justice, Research, Technology/ICT, Adult Education/Indigenous Education and Vocational/Industry Training, and will enable sharing and learning from each other's experience and success.

ACEA invites you to submit an abstract that highlights one significant project or initiative that your team has developed or delivered.