Friday, 13 June 2014

How much money has the TEC invested in the literacy and numeracy infrastructure?

Graeme Smith, the talent behind ALEC, has written a post that I found very interesting.  There are many in the literacy and numeracy world that would like to roll back the infrastructure that has grown up around Learning Progressions in the tertiary sector.  And there is always the game of trying to predict what changes are going to occur in the sector in the short term.  If you are not too keen on the Learning Progressions the question is often one of two:

  1. Is it time to embrace the Learning Progressions and get with the programme?
  2. Do I keep the LPs at arms length until the TEC relaxes its' position on them?

Graeme's article made me think about the level of TEC's commitment to the infrastructure and whether number two above is an option.

You can follow Graemes' blog here.  But I'm going to post it here in its entirety here as well.

How much money has the TEC invested in the literacy and numeracy infrastructure…?
Posted on June 9, 2014

It’s a lot of money… I just changed my original title as I don’t have a good reference for the exact amount. Let’s just say it might have 9 figures.

That’s how invested the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is in the infrastructure that we now have for literacy and numeracy in New Zealand. That infrastructure now includes:

  • the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy
  • the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool
  • Pathways Awarua

Keep in mind the following:

  • the TEC’s Assessment Tool is a massively scalable automated assessment machine generating massive amounts of data on learners literacy and numeracy abilities.
  • And Pathways Awarua, is a massively scalable and automated delivery platform.

Software is going to eat education. And it’s going to do that mainly via massively scalable and mostly automated processes that will get increasingly cheap to run.

But… we’re still going to need skilled human tutors (middle management is another story). At least for another 20 years.

So I would also argue that this infrastructure also means having specific adult literacy and numeracy education qualifications including for trades and vocational trainers, as well as for specialists. This includes:

  • NCALNE (Voc)
  • NCALNE (Ed)
  • DipALNE

And that $120 million dollar investment probably means these things are not going to go away any time soon.

So if you’re still wondering about whether you should have a go at trying to get your head around the Learning Progressions, or whether there is any value in the Assessment Tool, or whether you should upskill yourself or your staff in these areas then it’s time to stop wondering.

What action will you take…?

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