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No Experience Necessary

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Charlotte Hardacre

on 19 January 2015

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Transcript of No Experience Necessary

Whose Interests?
Habermas, Freire & Illich.
These critical theorists advocate emanicpatory education. They would aim to uncover the INTERESTS at work in teaching and interrogate the legitimcy of these interests; identifying the extent to which they serve equality and democracy.
Family Literacy
Adult Literacy
I teach in two settings.
The Family Learning funder, ASL, measures "achievement" through tutors discretion. There are a range of methods to meet learning aims. Including written work, photographs, video and displays.
The SFA measures achievement through how many learners acheive a qualification. The qualification is acheived by passing a test. Usually The National Test - a multiple choice exam that does not have a free writing element.
Cash for Qualifications
Adult Safeguarded Learning
“distorting the educational process, narrowing the curriculum, and conflicting with the goals of meaningful education.” (Ravitch, 2011)
Improve literacy?
Acheive a certificate to gain entry for their next course
Job security
Positive feedback from employer
Job satisfaction?
Educational Organisation
Meet Government targets
Secure funding
In response to calls from employers Functional Skills are intended to produce a workforce that is enterprising, productive and equipped to compete in business.
AQA Examining Board
what interest does the
have in being taught to pass the test?
The Reality of Teaching to the Test
My intake of learners all hold Level 1 Adult Literacy
qualifications. This means they spent last year being
drilled to pass the National Test -a criteria-referenced standardised assessment that takes the form of a 40 question multiple choice exam.
My diagnostic assessment
of these learners writing
ability showed they were ALL
at least two levels below L1.

Did we serve their interests?
This learner knows how to read and write. By asking them to go line by line through a piece of text to correct errors is a painstaking and de-motivating exercise for tutor and learner.
Out of Context
Social Justice in Action
No Experience Necessary:
Charlotte Hardacre
Inauthentic uses of texts
Develop Strange skills
When was the last time you hand-wrote an email?
Hand write the address here!
Should I be a part of this?
In doing Action Research we are aiming not just for right ways of
but for right ways of
McNiff (2009)
Time for an intervention!
Does it have to be this way?
1. In what ways does Authentic Instruction offer anything different to adult literacy than the Functional or Social Practices approach?
The first question involved an exploration of the practices and theoretical issues related to the approaches to literacy that are involved in the study.

2. In what ways do adult learners experience the introduction of Authentic Instruction in this action research?
Here I analysed a range of qualitative data collected through guided interviews, collection of learner work and observations in order to reveal the drivers and resistors to learning.

3. What are the implications for the organisation in choosing Authentic Instruction over a Functional Skills approach?
“What so we can read the paper or we can, like write all our complaint letters to the council or whatever in lessons and you’re gonna help us. That’s sound.”

The observer noted another learner saying in response to this:

“You don’t get to read the paper in the exam though do you”
A tone was set early in the intervention of reading and writing either for individual gain; CVs, covering letters, complaint letters or to affect changes in society; letters to councils, the Government and housing associations.
There was also, by week 4, a closer focus on form and accuracy of the text. Learners did not want to simply hand the work in and await their mark. They preferred to hone the text to a particular standard in collaboration with me or with another learner.

The focused observer noted: “there is a very positive atmosphere in the sessions now. Sharing work and helping each other seems to be the accepted norm. Learners feel they are producing something important not just work for the teacher”
Pay No Attention
To That Man Behind The Curtain!
Thanks for Listening
A flavour of how it went...
Bringing Functional Skills into the Real World
Critical Theory
Ontology: Historical realism
Epistemology: Transactional and subjective findings that are influenced by values.
Methodology: Dialogue based and logical
The research needed for social practice can best be characterized as research for social management.

It is a type of action research, a comparative research of the conditions and effects of various forms of social action, and research leading to social action.

Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
Lewin (1946)
The need for justice and democracy,

The right of all people to speak and be heard,

The right of each individual to show how and why they have given extra attention to their learning in order to improve their work,
Action research
is an approach that encourages practitioners to be in control of their own lives and contexts.
Action research is a term which refers to a practical way of looking at your own work to check that it is as you would like it to be.

Because action research is done by you, the practitioner, it is often referred to as practitioner based research; and because it involves you thinking about and reflecting on your work, it can also be called a form of self-reflective practice.

The idea of self reflection is central. In traditional forms of research – empirical research – researchers do research on other people. In action research, researchers do research on themselves.
Empirical researchers enquire into other people’s lives. Action researchers enquire into their own. You, you ask yourself why you do the things that you do, and why you are the way that you are.

Action research is open ended. It does not begin with a fixed hypothesis. It begins with an idea that you develop. The research process is the developmental process of following through the idea, seeing how it goes, and continually checking whether it is in line with what you wish to happen.

A useful way to think about action research is that it is a strategy to help you live in a way that you feel is a good way. It helps you live out the things you believe in, and it enables you to give good reasons every step of the way.
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