Professional Development Resources
Literacy and numeracy
Football Rules! (2008) Free resource
by Dave Tout and Philippa McLean
A literacy and numeracy resource based around Australian Rules Football. Activities include views and opinions of sport, surveys and statistics, researching the game, scoring and ladders, reporting on a game and football tipping.
The Word on Cars (2008) Free resource
by Dave Tout and Philippa McLean
A literacy and numeracy resource based around owning, driving and running a car. Activities include car-related numbers, speed, data and graphs, time and parking, petrol and car-related costs, and writing about and reviewing cars. There are also cooperative logic problems.
ACAL recorded webinar – Something to say, Lessons learned, lessons ahead 26ten with Sue Costello
Sue Costello (26Ten Manager) explains how 26Ten came about, how it works, and where it’s heading. It’s not a program (but literacy learners can access courses and help), it has no eligibility criteria, it has tri-partisan support, and it’s funded long-term! Are you thinking it sounds like a great model to investigate and replicate? Listen to Sue and you’ll be nodding your head when she discusses the wicked problem of the stigma around adult literacy gaps, the positive impact of long-term government support, and the strength and momentum of a literacy strategy based on combined efforts across industry sectors and the community. It’s a collective approach with a network that contributes to three goals:
1. Everyone knows about literacy and numeracy
2. Everyone is supported to improve their skills or help others
3. Everyone communicates clearly.
This interview will leave you feeling both excited by the resources they’re sharing and eager to explore the options available in your own adult literacy space to take these ideas and build on them!
ACAL recorded webinar – Something to say, Lessons learned, lessons ahead with Philippa McLean
“I don’t feel sorry for learners – I am genuinely interested in them and I believe they absolutely have the right to literacy and numeracy, and to good quality literacy and numeracy”
Philippa McLean has worked across most areas of adult literacy provision in Australia. Her experience includes establishing and teaching classes, writing the ACSF and the Digital ACSF, teaching teachers, pre-accredited programs, VET, Literacy for Life, LLN qualifications, developing resources, and examining the workforce. Philippa’s advice is to avoid blaming students and others – and to never limit the students you are working with. Here are a few quotes to inspire. Watch the video for the full breadth of Philippa’s wisdom grown through years of varied experience:
On teaching methodology: “If you want to be a good LLND teacher and assessor you’ve got to have a variety of tools in your toolkit”.
On the Digital ACSF: “We need to really rethink what it means to do reading and writing and numeracy. We’ve got to have the courage to look at our own practice”.
On compliance and auditing: “Through compliance and auditing we actually made teachers lose their confidence”.
On teachers: “When I’m doing PD I see how dedicated these teachers are – that is humbling”.
On what we need for the future: “We need to fight for a variety of provision”.
Philippa’s insights into literacy now and into the future will start you thinking about your own involvement in adult literacy and how you interact with students, teachers, and other stakeholders.
ACAL recorded webinar – Something to say, Lessons learned, lessons ahead with Pam Osmond
Pam Osmond is the author of an internationally published book ‘Developing Social Equity in Australian Adult Education, Lessons from the Past.’
Pam discusses her book, which looks at the history of adult basic education and explains what we can learn from the past to guide us into the future, particularly around opening discursive spaces for social cohesion. As always, Pam’s insights inspire inquiry into where the field is and where it’s heading, and serve as a reminder that there is a moral purpose to the profession that allows us to rekindle our passion for adult literacy teaching.
ACAL recorded webinar – Something to say, Lessons learned, lessons ahead with Lorraine Sushames
“Perhaps people in outside our field don’t recognize how pivotal it is” surmises Lorraine Sushames, ACAL treasurer and an expert on adult literacy in the NT, when asked why reports such as ‘Closing the Gap’ still don’t focus on adult literacy.
During a long career in adult literacy (including work on programs such as the Special intervention program, LANT, WELL, LLNP, FSFYF, and TAE80113) Lorraine has seen many people continue to slip through the gaps. She reports that access to appropriate programs is severely limited or non-existent for remote Indigenous communities and the unique challenges of the NT are yet to be overcome.
Creating a lifechanging experience for her Grad Dip in Adult LLN students when she took them to Timor Leste for practical experience was just one of many career highlights. For Lorraine, life as an adult literacy specialist is about making a difference: a lot depends on what side of the socio-economic divide you are born on so to see people improve their socio-economic status and life opportunities – being in a position to make a difference, to have an impact – these are the payoffs for adult literacy work.
Lorraine describes herself as having a strong sense of justice and of purpose, being comfortable with uncertainty, and being open to learning. As an integral member of the Australian adult literacy community, she notes that for the future we need to move away from one size fits all literacy programs. Lorraine’s call to action includes more research, inclusion of remote indigenous communities in the next PIAAC round, a refreshed TAE80113, and informal spaces for LLND learning in the NT.
ACAL recorded webinar – Something to say, Lessons learned, lessons ahead with Mary Wallace
In this interview Mary Wallace shares her surprising pathway into adult literacy that started with a career as a bilingual engineer, spanned several countries, involved teaching in settings as diverse as neighborhood houses to some of the world’s largest car manufacturers, and culminated in the role of Director of LWA.
“Learners are not just job seekers – we need to respond to the learners as whole individuals”. Mary raises her concerns that some literacy practices are undermined by program delivery which is too narrow and specific and doesn’t address holistic delivery. “The challenge is how to respond to the individuals when working with a group in the classroom”. With a view that teachers need qualifications in adult LN, Mary suggests that rather than let industry reports dictate the way we view the needs of literacy learners we focus on transferable skills and remember that literacy for work is important, but so is literacy for community and personal use!
When asked about the future, Mary asks that we think about doing something different. This could involve exploring ideas such as moving outside competency based training, experimenting with new structures, responding to the needs of learners, flexibility, moving beyond the current frameworks, and considering the crucial role of soft skills.
ACAL recorded webinar – Something to say, Lessons learned, lessons ahead with Vanessa Isles
Vanessa takes us behind the scenes of the Reading Writing Hotline, describing their work and sharing some of the insights they have gained into adult literacy in Australia. The Hotline is in a unique position to capture the experiences of people reaching out for help with literacy and numeracy, and Vanessa reveals some of the barriers to access that we may need to think more about. This is a thought provoking interview that exposes the impact of gaps in adult literacy provision on callers who are often ‘desperate’ for assistance.
Vanessa also shares her three wishes for adult literacy. These certainly resonated with the ACAL committee and perhaps they’ll open discursive spaces for you.