NCALE (Vocational)

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Unit Standard 21204: Element 2 Describe Maori Literacy


Content and Learning

Describe current theories of teaching and learning adult literacy and numeracy, including Mātauranga Māori.


Suggested teaching and learning activity 1

See Teaching Adults to Write, page 36:

Using word maps

Purpose: to develop vocabulary of a current theory of adult literacy or numeracy. Create a word map based on a current theory of adult literacy or numeracy e.g. using Te Whare Tapa Wha model. Begin using prior knowledge, allow time for article reading, then revise word map.


Suggested teaching and learning activity 3

See Teaching Adults to Read, page 57:

Reciprocal reading

Purpose: to build understanding of numeracy pedagogy; to practise using reciprocal reading, focussing on comprehension strategies.In groups of 4, assign roles: predictor, clarifier, questioner and summariser. Together, read at least one current article about adult numeracy pedagogies and discuss using the four roles.


Suggested assessment activity 1


Prepare and present a poster presentation comparing three current theoretical approaches to literacy and numeracy teaching. Include one form of Mātauranga Māori. Be prepared to discuss your poster with the group


Suggested assessment activity 4

Reflective journal

Reflect and report on how your teaching can be adapted to include current numeracy pedagogies


Suggested teaching and learning activity 2

See Teaching Adults to Write, page 30:

Sharing quality work

Purpose: to develop a reference checklist for use in analysing literature reviews. Analyse an exemplar literature review on current theories of adult literacy and numeracy teaching and learning (eg., Gray, 2006). Create a checklist of features of a literature review


Suggested assessment activity 2

Literature review

See Teaching Adults to Write, page 31: Writing frames

Using the checklist from the writing frames activity above, prepare a literature review on theories of adult literacy and numeracy teaching.


Recommended resources (see reference list in NCALE Provider Guide for details)

  • Benseman, J., & Sutton, A. (Eds.). (2008). Facing the Challenge. The 8 chapters in the teaching and learning section all refer to adult literacy teaching and learning as it applies to New Zealand.
  • Brooks, G. M., Burton, M. et al. (2007). Effective teaching and learning: reading.
  • Burton, M., Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L., & Brooks, G. (2008). Improving reading: phonics and fluency.
  • Campbell, P. (2006). Teaching reading to adults: A balanced approach.
  • Durie, M. (1998). Whaiora: Māori Health Development.
  • Gal I., & Ginsburg L., (1996). Instructional strategies for teaching adult numeracy. This report identifies instructional strategies that address issues of assessment and development of numeracy and problem solving skills. The strategies are based on research on how adults learn and the cognitive processes involved in learning mathematics.
  • Ginsburg, L., Manly, M., & Schmitt, M. J. (2006). The components of numeracy. The writers of this paper examined a variety of existing frameworks for numeracy and identified three major components of adult numeracy: context, content and cognitive and affective factors.
  • Gray, A. (2006). Upskilling through foundation skills – a literature review.
  • Grief, S., & Chatterton, J. (2007). Developing adult teaching and learning. Practitioner guides - writing.
  • Grief, S., Meyer, B., & Burgess, A. (2007). Effective teaching and learning: writing.
  • Krudenier, J. (2005). Research-based principles for adult basic education. This report reviews all the available adult-related research on the teaching of adults.
  • McShane, S. (2005). Applying research in reading instruction for adults. First steps for teachers.
  • Māori Adult Literacy Reference Group. (2001). “Te Kawai Ora. Reading the world, reading the word, being the world.” The document should be read in its entirety to provide a fuller understanding of what literacy can mean to Māori.
  • Nonesuch, K. (2006). Changing the way we teach math. A manual for teaching basic math to adults. This manual sets out best practice from the literature, discusses issues with regard to its implementation and includes activities for classroom use.
  • Pere, R.R. (1991). Te Wheke: A Celebration of Infinite Wisdom.
  • Sharples, P. (2006). “Boys in education conference.”
  • Tangaere, A.R. (1997). “Māori human development theory”.
  • Tertiary Education Commission, (2009) Strengthening Literacy and Numeracy through Embedding. This gives a good overview of current research. The extensive bibliography lists many authors whose research could be used for teaching activities.
  • Tout, D. and M.-J. Schmitt (2002). “The inclusion of adult numeracy in adult basic education.” This book chapter looks at how far the field of numeracy has come, how far it needs to go and where it might look for models of progress and accomplishment.

Performance criteria

2.1 Description includes Māori concepts that relate to literacy. Range: ako, tuakana-teina, whakapapa, whānau, whānaungatanga.

2.2 Description includes Māori-based adult literacy initiatives.

2.3 Description includes pedagogies for Māori adult literacy development. Range: mana ao turoa, mana atua, mana whenua, mana tangata; taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, taha whānau.

Candidates will demonstrate that they are able to describe what it means to be competent in literacy and numeracy in today's society, identify reasons for low literacy and numeracy levels in the adult population and describe initiatives for adult literacy provision, including literacy for Maori. Also describe current theories of teaching and learning adult literacy and numeracy, including Matauranga Maori.

This page links to NCEA:

National Certificate in Adult Literacy Education