Monday, 24 November 2008

Practitioner research from LSDA Northern Ireland

There's an absolutely fascinating collection of 'perspectives on engagement in learning' available from the RaPAL site.

I am engrossed in working for my Level 5 Numeracy Diploma but this document has made me think seriously and optimistically about literacy again - the first time for quite a while.

So far, I've only fully read one article (of nine) but will be attempting to get a hard copy so I can sneak some quick browses from the comfort of my armchair.

Ever on the look out for resources, my eye was drawn to the appendix of research paper 1, 'Exploring text messaging from the perspective of the young people who use it', (Pamela McDowell). I love the idea of 'translating' from one form of text to another. Just wish I had time to produce something like this for my group of teenage Entry Level literacy students - but the Numeracy Diploma keeps calling!
I then backtracked and read Pamela's paper. It is full of eye-opening facts including a list of situations when young people would consider switching their phones to 'silent'; 'off' does not seem to be an option except during air travel.

All nine papers are related to such everyday topics or real-life classroom situations. If you skim the contents page (click picture left for an enlargement) I guarantee you will get pulled in.

Each paper ingeniously concludes with comments and reflections from the author / researcher. These have convinced me that getting involved in action research is not as difficult as I thought. Maybe after the numeracy diploma?

Can't Read Can't Write - a review in Reflect

I can't believe it's almost three months since I wrote about the July issue of Reflect magazine.

The latest October 08 issue arrived at my house last weekend: I was delighted to see and read Rachel O’Dowd’s review of the Channel 4 Can't Read Can't Write programme that upset and disturbed so many Skills for Life tutors over the summer. It's a well balanced and thoughtful critique and you can read it yourself as Reflect is available on line (pages 25-26) at the NRDC site.

I was also interested to discover that Linda Worden, one of Beadle's students in the C4 programme, now has her own web site through which she is available for 'appearances and interviews'. These include the recent National Skills for Life conference in Birmingham (and the one in York tomorrow).

If you missed the programme see my two earlier posts of July 10 08 and July 29 08 for some background.