Literacy and numeracy project: Final report 2009

Cormack, Phillip, Comber, Barbara, Wilkinson, L., Bills, Dianne, Barnett, J., Brennan, M., Chartres, Mike, Hattam, Robert, Jorgenson, R., Kerkham, Lyn, Reid, A., & Sullivan, P. (2010) Literacy and numeracy project: Final report 2009. South Australian Department of Education and Children's Services, Australia.

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Literacy and numeracy are critical for young people during and after their schooling. The subjects and courses that students undertake during their school years incorporate a range of academic literacy and numeracy practices which students must be able manage if they are to be successful. Pathways beyond schooling also require specific, and changing, understandings of, and proficiencies with, literacy and numeracy as new communication technologies increasingly impact on further study, work, and everyday life. Teaching and learning numeracy is a new emphasis in the SACE and as yet we have little understanding about the ways in which secondary schools handle this area. Students in Years 10 and 11 are at a crucial point in their educational and life pathways as they begin to refine their future aspirations. For those who have difficulty with academic literacies and numeracies – and often a long history of such problems – this period can be fraught unless teachers are able to provide specific support when it is needed, or students are able to access it from care-givers or community members. The School to Work Literacy and Numeracy Project involved teachers from nine schools across the three sectors and university researchers working together to design curriculum interventions for students with a history of low measurable achievement in literacy and/or numeracy. The project started from the premise that working with ‘rich tasks’, an approach to learning and assessment developed in the Productive Pedagogies work undertaken in Queensland (Hayes et al., 2006), would improve students’ motivation, engagement and learning and that this work could best be done by teachers working in school-based, cross-curriculum teams with a school leadership team member and a university researcher as mentor. A key idea in designing rich tasks is that students will have opportunities to demonstrate their learning in assessments which are aligned with the learning expectations (for example a film festival to publicly launch student-produced films, advertising to sell student-made cubby-houses, a household budget based on students’ likely incomes in future work). In other words the assessments should be designed to allow for authentic communication and displays of what the students have learned through serious engagement with the curriculum. The project was conducted from Term 1-4 2009, with follow-up checks with some project teachers in the early weeks of 2010.

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ID Code: 80796
Item Type: Report
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 978-0-9807669-0-5
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 20 Jan 2015 03:55
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015 01:59

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