Empowering the Community To Teach the Child - John Stewart, NALA
Family literacyEmpowering theCommunity ConferenceJohn Stewart NALA firstname.lastname@example.org July 2012
About NALASee handout: What is NALA? Mission and vision What we do What we mean by adult literacy
Educational disadvantage:Family as communityParents are the first and most constant educators ofchildren, so engagement in family literacyprogrammes is very important for those who maynot know how to best support their child’s learning.
Family literacy is ... The uses of literacy and numeracy within families and communities, especially activities which involve two or more generations. Education programmes that help to develop literacy and numeracy learning in a family context.
Current child literacy situation 30% of primary school children in disadvantaged areas have severe literacy problems (ERC 2004). Two thirds of pupils in most disadvantaged schools achieved at / below the 20th percentile on standardised tests …& performance declined as pupils continued through school (NESF 2008). NESF Report on Child Literacy 2009 - a gulf between schools and families, - intergenerational impact of adult learning. Disappointing results from OECD PISA surveys. Not just about standards in schools and ECCE settings.
National Policy National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy for Children and Young People, DES 2011 Embraces parental role and value of family literacy. NALA role in national promotion, awareness and partnership with adult literacy providers.
NALA role in national strategy Develop a website with relevant information for families to support children’s literacy and numeracy development. ◊ categorised by a child’s age ◊ links to supports in the community Cross platform promotion e.g. TV series Ongoing engagement with stakeholders Campaign launch 8th September 2012. International Literacy Day
Proposed National Early Years Strategy for Children 0 to 6 Announced March 6 by Minister Fitzgerald - Children & Youth Affairs, Complete in 2012, including consultation Named 5 issues: - Outcomes linked to National Literacy strategy - Quality of ECCE - Health - Targeted ECCE for disadvantaged children - Increasing positive parental engagement in ECCE.
Aistear, Soilse support parental engagement23rd November 2006
Adult literacy situation 500,000 Irish adults - 1 in 4 - at lowest of 5 levels Over 1 in 2 below OECD threshold level 3. (IALS 1997) Second literacy survey PIACC results in October 13 Intergenerational studies have identified that disadvantage is predictive with regard to literacy proficiency of children (Parsons & Bynner, 2008). The redress of educational disadvantage requires an adult component.
What the research says Parental engagement has a positive affect on a child’s school performance, achievement & cognitive ability (Fan, X., 2001; Feinstein, L. and Symons, J., 1999; Desforges, 2003; Melhuishi, E., et al, 2001) Parental involvement in a child’s learning has more of an impact on a child’s educational outcomes than any other demographic measure. (Feinstein and Symons, 1999; Vorhaus, 2006) Children’s performance in reading tests are affected by their parents’ literacy. (KPMG, 2006; De Coulon et al, 2008) As parents’ skills improve, so do children’s educational achievements (Sticht and McDonald; in Schweinhart, 2008)
Effects of parents and schools Achievement Parental School effects effects Age 7 0.29 0.05 Age 11 0.27 0.21 Age 16 0.14 0.51 From Sacker et al 2002 Desforges to EFLN conference 2009 http://www.efln.eu/assets/sept09conference/Charles _Desforges_EFLN_Pres.pdf
Family literacy as strategy A win-win scenario for parent and child. Improves the literacy practices of family members. Has a very significant knock on effect on school performance and achievement of children. Supports parents who may not know how to develop their childs literacy and learning. A win-win for policy and practice Offers potential opportunities to break inter-generational cycles of disadvantage. Enhances practice. Creates learning communities with schools.
Family literacy programmes in your community Each VEC Adult Literacy Service has family literacy programmes. Co Clare VEC (training of trainers) Co Donegal VEC (Raising ready readers) CDVEC (e.g. Story sacks) DES fund of €225,000 for DEIS Family Literacy Initiative. Other community examples NALA supports on www.nala.ie
Supporting Family Literacy Ideas and Tips for Tutors including: •Lesson plans Free •Resources from •Activities NALA •Links to Accreditation See also www.writeon.ie Level 2 and 3 awards and resources, and RPL
What the research says 2 “Good family literacy programmes improve parents ability to support their childrens cognitive and non-cognitive development, leading to long-term educational benefits.” (A Literature Review Of International Adult Literacy Policy, NALA 2011) Based on meta-analytic evidence a 2011 EU study concluded “all Member States child literacy strategies should include a family literacy component, and that policymakers should more actively support the widespread proliferation of family literacy interventions”. Carpentieri, J., Fairfax-Cholmeley, K., Litster, J., Vorhaus, J. (2011) Family literacy in Europe: using parental support initiatives to enhance early literacy development. London: NRDC, Institute of Education
Conclusion – key messages Literacy is an equality issue with social and economic causes, effects and solutions. It is not an individual problem. Schools cannot resolve literacy / numeracy and educational disadvantage on their own. Do not expect them to do so. Parental engagement is essential in developing a child’s literacy. Support it actively. Family literacy programmes can play a key role in improving children’s literacy, as well as adult literacy. Plan for Family Literacy development. Ideally as part of an adult literacy strategy
How NALA supports family literacy Promotion Freephone 1800 202065 Research see www.nala.ie Resources www.nala.ie www.writeon.ie Practice Annual Family learning event Networking
How you can further support family literacy Stay abreast of development, including campaigns Become a member of NALA Attend NALA family literacy events - 21st November 2012 Raise awareness of parents and ECCE community about the value of family / home literacy and numeracy development. Tell parents how they can support their childrens literacy and about supports available. Link to local VEC Adult Literacy Services (ALS) / VEC family literacy programmes
NALA Family Learning Research Family learning in action: an overview of family learning programmes 2011 This research provides an overview of family learning in local communities. Details the benefits of participation to the families involved. Findings show that participation in family learning is beneficial to families and has a positive impact on the relationship between home and school. Taking care of family literacy work Dec 2010 An enquiry with parents about their experience of nurturing language and literacy in the home.
Literacy Uses: At Home With Family Learning• NALA Research 2010 - 41 families from 4 areas• More common practices in the home included numeracy (finance), helping children with homework and intergenerational storytelling.• Most popular reading and writing activity was texting• Technology important – not necessarily computers• Inform family learning development• Link to report: http://www.nala.ie/research/ home-literacy-study-family-literacy-practices
Question ? Schools/ ECCE do very well for most children. Yet, we have a significant issue with literacy achievement for children (linked to disadvantage) and with adult literacy and numeracy levels Schools/ECCE can not resolve this issue on their own. Key question is who can schools/ECCE work with, and how, to impact on literacy standards of children, particularly from disadvantaged areas.
What is NALA? Established in 1980. Independent membership based charity. Membership is open to all adults. Funded by the Department of Education and Skills (DES), with projects funded by FÁS, HSE, An Post, EBS and MSD.
NALA’s mission and vision Mission: To be the voice of adult literacy in Ireland and, with our partners, influence policy and practice to support people in developing their literacy. Vision: We want Ireland to be a place where adult literacy is a valued right and where everyone can both develop their literacy and take part more fully in society.
What we do! Advocacy Integrating literacy into public education and training; Flexible learning opportunities Family literacy PIAAC Campaign – National Literacy & Numeracy strategy, An Post TV ads and TV series Practice – Distance Learning Service www.writeon.ie, curriculum, resources. Research – e.g. Policy, Family.PIAAC = Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies
Definition of literacy Literacy involves: listening and speaking, reading, writing, numeracy, and using everyday technology to communicate and handle information. It includes more than the technical skills of communication (reading, writing and maths): it also has personal, social and economic dimensions.
Adult literacy tuition in Ireland In 2011, 55,000 Irish adults attended literacy classes through the 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs) Adult Literacy Services (ALS) nationwide. Every VEC ALS has a family literacy programme. Literacy development happens in other settings and programmes, for example Childcare courses.
NALA’s Distance Learning Service Providing a quality Distance Learning Service for adults to improve literacy and numeracy skills in the privacy of their homes, library or local community setting. Our current service comprises of: TV series since 2000 Freephone tutor support line: 1800 20 20 65 Printed materials and DVDs and CDs Interactive learning website – www.writeon.ie – offering FETAC Level 2 and 3 awards, includes RPL
Is education a silver spoon for all? “Equality of opportunity...requires only the removal of social barriers and silver spoons that prevent people from competing on level terms with those constituted like them.”(Swift, Justice, Luck, and the Family 2005)
Further informationNALA http://facebook.com/nalairelandSandford LodgeSandford CloseRanelaghDublin 6 http://twitter.com/nalairelandTel: (01) 412 7900Website: www.nala.iePlain English website: www.simplyput.ie
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