Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Heading to Dunedin

I have a workshop tomorrow with the good people of Dunedin.  There are some fantastic tutors and organisations down there.  Whenever I am there I come away impressed.

Tomorrow will be a mix of:
  • A wonderful insight into Pacifika learners and the L&N opportunities 
  • Enhancing literacy skills (Reading comprehension)
  • Formative assessment
  • Enhancing numeracy development 

Interesting note on point one - all the Pacifika people I have meet are awesome, smart, big hearted, sharp and well ahead of the curve in every area (social and academic). Makes me wonder what other forces are at play?  Why is the Pacifika community (unfortunately grouped together by the Government) over represented in the ALL numeracy statistics?  Is this another consequence of the government grouping large numbers of people under one heading who are in fact wonderfully diverse.  

There is a concept called 'mathematization', which refers to inducting students into a certain 'way of thinking'.  It has nothing to do with being smart or not, but everything to do with 'habitus'.  Look up the term, it certainly gets you thinking.  I relate it to 'knowing the explicit and implicit rules of the game'.

Zevenbergen wrote a great little article about a retail position that required the applicant to pass a numeracy assessment to qualify (shop assistance's in a grocery store I think).  The job itself required nothing more than some basic arithmetic skill. Zevenbergen suggested the numeracy test was designed to prevent a certain group from making the application.  The adults who passed the test were those that were used to numeracy assessments - they knew the rules of the game - they were familiar with the habitus.  Mathematics is well known as a doorway subject, keeping out more than it lets in. And, its on the increase.

Okay, running late...

More on habitus soon...

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