The Literacy and Numeracy Profiles
Why do we need them?
A large percentage of New Zealand’s adult population lacks the reading, writing and maths skills to function well at work and at home. One way to help remedy this situation is to teach valuable vocational skills and knowledge that adults are motivated to learn, in ways that encourage an improvement in literacy and numeracy skills. This is embedded teaching.
We need to find out what the literacy and numeracy demands of a trainee’s goal occupation are in order to best target teaching for embedding that benefits both the trainee and the industry as a whole.
The NZHITO has been working on a Literacy and Numeracy project with the support of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), the Department of Labour (DOL), employers and trainees. As part of this, profiles are being developed for each of the sectors that the NZHITO represents.
Each profile shows a snapshot of the typical literacy and numeracy demands of different positions in the horticulture industry.
What do they do?
The profiles identify and document the reading, writing, listening, speaking and numeracy requirements involved in working in a particular position in typical local business and amenities and map them against the NZ Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.
These Progressions provide a framework and language for describing the main elements that adults require in order to read with understanding, write to communicate, listen with understanding, speak to communicate, make sense of number to solve problems, measure and interpret shape and space and reason statistically.
The information gathered about the language, literacy and numeracy demands of the position can then be used to:
a) ensure that training programmes address the language, literacy and numeracy demands of the job;
b) match the language, literacy and numeracy demands of policies and procedures with the language, literacy and numeracy skills required of employees in carrying out their job; and
c) identify the areas of language, literacy and numeracy required in a position which may need upskilling in an employee in order for the employee to carry out that particular work role.
Each profile contains:
· An introduction
· An explanation of the data collection method
· A position description
· The desirable qualifications for that position
· An analysis for each strand (reading, writing, speaking & listening and
numeracy) which contains:
- a list of the texts or contexts analysed
- a ‘map’ of the results showing the step/level of ability required for each
skill in the Progressions
- a discussion of the findings
· A comparison across the strands
Copies of the currently completed NZHITO Literacy and Numeracy Profiles can be downloaded here. As the rest of the profiles are completed they will be added.
What else has been happening?
During May and June of 2010, as part of the on-going work for the NZHITO Literacy and Numeracy project, more than 500 NZHITO trainees have been assessed using an assessment tool developed by TEC.
Trainees were randomly assigned an assessment in one of the following areas: reading, numeracy, or writing. Dependant upon the assessment assigned to the trainee they either completed a written assessment or used an online assessment tool. The reports from these assessments will be linked to the same Learning Progressions used in the Literacy and Numeracy Profiles and will enable us to match what we have learnt about trainees’ abilities with the skill levels needed in the industry. This will further assist the NZHITO to target training to be useful to both trainees and the industry as a whole.
The NZHITO would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to all the trainees who undertook an assessment and to their employers for allowing us the opportunity to carry out the assessments.
For more detailed information about the learning progressions discussed in the Literacy and Numeracy profiles mean please see the following website http://www.literacyandnumeracyforadults.com/Learning-progressions