73,546 research outputs found

    Auditing the Numeracy Demands of the Middle Years Curriculum

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    The National Numeracy Review Report recognized that numeracy development requires an across the curriculum commitment. To explore the nature of this commitment we conducted a numeracy audit of the South Australian Middle Years curriculum, using a numeracy model that incorporates mathematical knowledge, dispositions, tools, contexts, and a critical orientation. All learning areas in the published curriculum were found to have distinctive numeracy demands. The audit should encourage teachers to promote numeracy in even richer ways in the curriculum they enact with students

    Every student counts: promoting numeracy and enhancing employability

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    This three-year project investigated factors that influence the development of undergraduates’ numeracy skills, with a view to identifying ways to improve them and thereby enhance student employability. Its aims and objectives were to ascertain: the generic numeracy skills in which employers expect their graduate recruits to be competent and the extent to which employers are using numeracy tests as part of graduate recruitment processes; the numeracy skills developed within a diversity of academic disciplines; the prevalence of factors that influence undergraduates’ development of their numeracy skills; how the development of numeracy skills might be better supported within undergraduate curricula; and the extra-curricular support necessary to enhance undergraduates’ numeracy skills

    Seeking the N in LLN

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    Numeracy skills are a key driver of economic growth and yet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2008) nearly eight million Australian adults lack the numeracy skills to cope with everyday life and work. The vocational education and training (VET) sector is one part of the solution; however the VET workforce may be limited by its own skills needs. There is no research available to indicate what the implications are for the delivery of adult numeracy skills training in the workplace and for building the skills capacity of workers to effectively and adequately meet business needs. This study begins to redress this gap by examining the capacity of the VET workforce to address workplace numeracy skills needs, particularly in the process manufacturing industries, industries that rely greatly on the numeracy skills of its semi-skilled workers. While this study is small, it does raise questions about the capacity of the current VET workforce to address the numeracy skills gaps of existing workers. The research questions examined were as follows. The term ‘VET practitioner’ is used to refer to language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) specialists and vocational specialists collectively. What numeracy teaching qualifications and experience do VET practitioners have? To what extent do VET practitioners understand the importance of the numeracy skills of working-aged Australians generally and, specifically, of existing workers in the process manufacturing industries? What are the perceived and actual numeracy skills levels of VET practitioners? What numeracy skills gaps are preventing VET practitioners from effectively addressing the numeracy skills needs of existing workers in the process manufacturing industries? What is the capacity of Australian VET practitioners to address the numeracy skills needs of working-aged Australians? Both qualitative (self-assessments, focus group discussions, interviews) and quantitative (numeracy assessments) approaches were used. The numeracy assessments comprised an assessment tool developed specifically for the research project. The assessment questions were contextualised to the process manufacturing industries and mapped to the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), with a focus on numeracy levels 3 and 41. All data-collection tools are included in the support document. The sample included 44 VET practitioners from Melbourne and Sydney who deliver workplace-based training. Of these, 20 self-identified as LLN specialists and 24 self-identified as vocational specialists. Participants were approached on the basis of their attendance at state-based Australian WELL2 Practitioner Network meetings or as vocational trainers working at registered training organisations active in the delivery of process manufacturing qualifications. Minor differences in skills, qualifications and experiences relevant to adult numeracy training were found between the two groups. The research found that participants tended to have a limited understanding of the importance of numeracy in general but demonstrated an interest and a willingness to reflect on it and adapt their thinking. It was further found that participants had a limited focus on workplace numeracy. This was confirmed by participant accounts of their experience in delivering workplace numeracy skills. The numeracy skills delivery that was identified was described by participants as at a ‘basic’ level. Most LLN specialists reported rare and only incidental delivery of workplace numeracy skills training, while most vocational specialists reported delivering workplace numeracy skills training more often, as specified in the unit requirements within qualifications. None of the participants had a specialist adult numeracy training qualification, not surprising given that only one qualification, the Graduate Certificate in Adult Numeracy Teaching, was found to be available. Six participants were identified as having an adult training specialisation that included a numeracy component, including one participant with the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice, one with the Advanced Diploma of Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice in VET and four with an adult basic education qualification. Adult numeracy specialist qualifications are discussed in relation to the United Kingdom’s Skills for Life Program, where there is a separate diploma-level qualification for each specialty area, and VET practitioners seeking to qualify as an adult numeracy specialist in the United Kingdom must undertake a numeracy proficiency entry test. The research draws attention to the unreliability of numeracy self-assessment and consequently the importance of the numeracy testing of trainers, with participants generally overestimating their numeracy skills. Best practice numeracy assessment scoring methods used for this research is questioned with respect to its suitability for determining VET practitioner preparedness in the workplace context. The analysis of the numeracy assessment data showed that most participants had numeracy proficiency skills levels below the current benchmark in the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice, the nationally recognised qualification applicable to those with responsibility for adult literacy and numeracy training. The benchmark is questioned by the researchers as being too low by comparison with the standard suggested by international research and adopted by the United Kingdom’s Skills for Life Program. The report also explores the differences between numeracy and mathematics, the characteristics of numeracy in the workplace context and the implications for pedagogy and numeracy assessment. Based on the findings, it appears there is a mismatch between what is required to address numeracy skills needs in the process manufacturing industries and the current capacity of VET practitioners, in terms of their understanding of numeracy requirements, and their qualifications, skills and experience. 1 The Australian Core Skills Framework describes performance in five core skills: learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy. Within each core skill there are five performance levels ranging from 1 (low level) through to 5 (high level performance). 2 Workplace English Language and Literacy Program

    Numeracy for 14 to 19-year-olds

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    GCSE results and international comparisons show that performance in numeracy is lower in Wales than that in the other home nations and below the average for OECD countries. Standards of numeracy as judged in school inspections are also lower than for communication in English and information and communication technology. The number of learners in schools, colleges and work-based learning providers who gain application of number qualifications has increased substantially over the last five years. However, too many of these learners gain qualifications at too low a level relative to their ability. These learners do not improve their numeracy skills by taking qualifications at too low a level. Only a minority of schools plan to develop numeracy systematically across the curriculum. Only a few schools track the progress of pupils in numeracy well enough, including the pupils who previously received support for numeracy in key stage 3. Around a half of the schools surveyed do not provide specific support for learners with poor numeracy skills in key stage 4. Although schools assess pupils’ numeracy skills, they do not share this information well enough when their learners attend courses at college or other providers. Further education colleges and work-based learning providers assess the level of learners’ numeracy skills at the start of courses. They generally use this information well to identify whether learners need basic support. As a result, many learners have individual learning plans and benefit from a range of support strategies. However, providers often enter learners for key skills qualifications only at the level needed to complete their framework qualification aim and do not challenge learners to achieve beyond this level

    Improving numeracy in key stage 2 and key stage 3

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    "The purpose of the report is to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives to improve standards of numeracy and to identify examples of best practice in key areas. These areas include basic skills numeracy support programmes, the use of numeracy in subjects across the curriculum and the effectiveness of provision for pupils’ movement from key stage 2 to key stage 3." - introduction

    Global Trends in Numeracy 1820-1949 and its Implications for Long-Run Growth

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    This study is the first to explore long-run trends of numeracy for the 1820-1949 period in 165 countries, and its contribution to growth. Estimates of the long-run numeracy development of most countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, America, and Europe are presented, using age-heaping techniques. Assessing the determinants of numeracy, we find school enrolment as well as Chinese instruments of number learning to have been particularly important. We also study the contribution of numeracy as measured by the age-heaping strategy for long-run economic growth. In a variety of specifications, numeracy mattered quite strongly for growth patterns around the globe.human capital, age heaping, growth, industrial revolution, numeracy

    The role of numeracy skills in graduate employability

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    Purpose – The purpose of this article is to explore the role and importance of numeracy skills in graduate recruitment within a diversity of employment sectors. Design/methodology/approach – The results of a mixed-methods study, involving three online surveys (including an employer survey), student focus group sessions and interviews with tutors, are presented. Findings – The results reveal the importance that employers attach to graduates’ numeracy skills and the extent to which employers use numeracy tests in graduate recruitment. They thus highlight the potential for poor numeracy skills to limit any graduate's acquisition of employment, irrespective of their degree subject; especially since numeracy tests are used predominantly in recruitment to the types of jobs commensurate with graduates’ career aspirations and within sectors that attract graduates from across the diversity of academic disciplines, including the arts and humanities. Research limitations/implications – Since participants were self-selecting any conclusions and inferences relate to the samples and may or may not be generalisable to wider target populations. Practical implications – The paper highlights what actions are necessary to enhance undergraduates’ numeracy skills in the context of graduate employability. Social implications – The vulnerability of particular groups of students (e.g. females, those not provided with any opportunities to practise or further develop their numeracy skills whilst in higher education, those with no (or low) pre-university mathematics qualifications, and mature students) is highlighted. Originality/value – The article is timely in view of national policy to extend the graduate employability performance indicators within quality assurance measures for UK higher education

    Learning from their mistakes - an online approach to evaluate teacher education students\u27 numeracy capability

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    Teachers’ numeracy capability is essential for student learning in the classroom and important across all subject areas, not only within mathematics. This study investigated the use of online diagnostic tests as a form of assessment for learning, to evaluate and support teacher education students (TES) in developing their numeracy skills. Data was collected using the “Test” feature through the Blackboard learning management system at two Australian universities. In this paper, we report on trends amongst TES who showed growth in their numeracy capability through the repeated use of the diagnostic test

    NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

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    Notes on contributing authors to Literacy and Numeracy Studies Vol 16 No 2 & Vol 17 No

    Literacy and numeracy skills and labour market outcomes in Australia

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    Australian adults are above the OECD average in literacy but only average in numeracy, according to a staff paper released by the Productivity Commission. The paper analyses the profile of adult literacy and numeracy skills in Australia, and how important those skills are for labour market outcomes. Key points: Adult literacy and numeracy skills contribute to wellbeing in many ways. At an individual level, they are central to social and economic participation. Literacy and numeracy skills are a core part of a person\u27s human capital. They also support the development of other forms of human capital, including knowledge, other skills and health. Some Australians have low (level 1 or below) literacy and numeracy skills. In 2011–12: 14 per cent of Australians could, at best, read only relatively short texts from which they were able to locate only a single piece of information. 22 per cent could only carry out one-step or simple processes such as counting where the mathematical content is explicit with little or no text or distractors. At the other end of the skill distribution, 16 per cent of Australians had high (level 4/5) literacy skills and 12 per cent had high numeracy skills in 2011–12. People with high literacy skills can make complex inferences and evaluate subtle truth claims or arguments in lengthy or multiple texts. People with high numeracy skills can understand a broad range of mathematical information that may be complex, abstract or embedded in unfamiliar contexts. Most Australians have skills somewhere between these levels. Groups with relatively low literacy and numeracy skills include: people with low levels of education; older persons; people not working; and immigrants with a non-English speaking background. Compared with other countries in the OECD, Australia performs above average on literacy but average in numeracy. Higher literacy and numeracy skills are associated with better labour market outcomes (employment and wages). Econometric modelling shows that: an increase in literacy and numeracy by one skill level is associated with an increased likelihood of employment of 2.4 and 4.3 percentage points for men and women, respectively an increase in literacy and numeracy skills is associated with a similar increase in the probability of employment, whether a person had a degree, diploma/certificate or Year 12 education an increase in literacy and numeracy by one skill level is associated with about a 10 per cent increase in wages for both men and women. This positive association is equivalent to that of increasing educational attainment from Year 11 to Year 12 or to a diploma/certificate up to 40 per cent of the association between education and employment is attributable to literacy and numeracy skills. These results are consistent with education providing many other attributes of human capital that are valued in the workplace more than half of the \u27penalty\u27 that affects the wages of people with a non-English speaking background is explained by their lower literacy and numeracy skills. ‱ Staff working papers are not formal publications of the Commission. They have been prepared and are authored by individual staff to advance understanding of issues on the Commission’s supporting research program
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