The learning and skills sector (LSS) is an Essential part of educational development in the United Kingdom. For many years this educational program faltered and was not taken seriously. However in recent years Legislators in the UK have dedicated a great deal of time and resources to improving LSS. According to Maxwell (2009)
The Learning and Skills Sector (LSS) in England is diverse, comprising further education (FE) colleges, sixth-form colleges, personal and community development learning and work-based training and learning in other adult settings such as prisons and the uniformed services. Over the last 15 years the sector has moved from a position of ‘benign neglect’ (Young et al. 1995, 7) to being placed ‘at the forefront of UK’s attempt to raise its skill profile’ (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and Department for Children, Schools and Families 2007, 3). Developing the workforce needed to support this ambitious agenda became one of the central themes of sector reform (Maxwell, 2009).
The purpose of this discussion is to critically analyze and evaluate the two LSS Curricula in terms of Curriculum Models And Ideologies and in terms of purpose and context in the subject specialist area of maths and electronics . The research will also focus on inclusiveness. The discussion will focus on how to make the curriculum in maths more inclusive for learners.
The learning skills sector offers several types of curricula that educators are encouraged to utilize in the classroom. There are various types of theories that govern the utilization of various curricula. These theories include meta-cognition, learning styles, information processing theory, peer assisted learning and constructivists theory (Keeley-Browne, 2007). The LSS has developed curricula for adult learners primarily based on the learning styles theory and engagement theory for the creation of curricula. Learning Styles theory “emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in very different ways. The learning styles theory implies that how much individuals learn has more to do with whether the educational experience is geared toward their particular style of learning than whether or not they are “smart” (“Learning Styles Theory”).” Engagement theory “focuses attention on student motivation and the strategies needed to increase the prospect that schools and teachers will be positioned to increase the presence of engaging tasks and activities in the routine life of the school (“Theory of Engagement”).” For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on The Foundation Learning Curriculum (FLC) and Family Literacy, Language and Numeracy (FLLN) within Adult Safeguarded Learning (ASL). Both of these are specific curriculums that have been developed for LSS in the UK.
According to the Skills Funding Agency FLC is the provision at entry level and level FLC is inclusive of the units and qualifications at these levels within the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). As an aspect of the FLC Personalised learning programmes have been created in support of this curriculum that will encourage succession to the correct outcomes for learners (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”).
As an instructor in the areas of Maths and electronics it is important that the FLC framework be utilized particularly as it pertains to personalized learning programs. Because students learns differently the maths and electronics teaching must be designed to meet the needs of individual students. In order to accomplish this in the area of maths students will be presented with an assessment test and they will also be asked to reveal to the instructors the ways in which they best learn. The assessment test will give the instructor an idea of the knowledge of maths that the students already possess while also revealing which areas need improvement. Through this assessment the instructor can begin to develop a lesson plan that ensures that students are learning the aspects of math that they need to concentrate on mastering. In addition when students reveal the ways in which they learn best, the instructor can and will develop a plan that is personalized and seeks to assist students in a manner that allows the students to master math lessons. For instance, if a student states that he is a visual learner and the instructor is teaching a geometrical principle, a physical object such as a plastic triangle may be used to explain the geometric principle being taught. In the same way lessons involving electronic will be designed to ensure that learners are taught in the manner that ensures mastery of the skills being taught.
The skills funding agency also explains that there are several goals associated with FLC for adults and young people. One of the goals of FLC is to bring greater consistency to entry level and level 1 programmes which encourages progress at these levels. FLC is also designed to increase involvement, engagement, achievement and success in both entry level and level 1 of the program (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”). FLC is also designed to ensure learners achieve a minimum level of skills which will give them a foundation providing a sound foundation for continued learning and entry into the workforce. Another goal associated with FLC is the offering of individual learning programs which are personalized to meet the needs of each individual learner.
Additionally the skill funding agency points out that the main priority of the FLC is to prepare students for Level 2 of the program. Successful completion of level 2 is important because it is required as a platform for minimal occupational competence and employability. In fact “It is an aspiration that as many adults as are capable aim for and achieve this employability skill level. A key objective of the Foundation Learning Curriculum offer therefore is to support this aspiration (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”).”
The FLC is designed to offer learners several opportunities. These opportunities include the following:
1. Personalized learning programs developed to assist learners in the development of the following skills:
Personal and social development (PSD) skills
English and maths skills. (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”)
The personalized learning programs have also been developed for the purposes of short episode learning which is referred to as s Formal First Step learning, which might be necessary to develop the confidence levels of learners prior to them beginning a personalized learning programme (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”).
2. In an effort to guarantee various starting points, goals and current knowledge and skills of adult learners are correctly considered and developed, “it is not mandatory for adults to undertake learning from each of the 3 skills sets within the Foundation Learning Curriculum (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”).”
For the most part this particular curriculum is most utilized for learners aged 19 and over. There are exceptions for learners with learning difficulty who are aged 19 to 24. Additionally learner will likely “have skills needs at level 1 or below; may have no or few qualifications; may have been out of formal learning for some years; may have learning difficulties and/or disabilities; may be unemployed; and/or may be offenders in the community referred by probation (“Foundation Learning Curriculum for adults”).”
Overall the FLC appears to be a comprehensive plan designed to ensure that adult learners at the entry level are provided with the learning skills and the tools needed to ensure success at the other levels of learning. In so doing this particular curricular will allow the learners to excel at subsequent levels of the program and also assists them in acquiring employment. Since the primary purpose of LSS is to assist in the development of a stronger more skilled workforce this particular curriculum will likely have a significant impact on learners. As it pertains specifically to maths and electronics, FLC will permit the instructor to develop a personalized program that will be beneficial to ensuring that learners are able to master maths and electronics skills.
FLLN as an Aspect of ASL
Family literacy, language and numeracy (FLLN) is an aspect of the Adult Safeguarded Learning (ASL) curriculum. The FLLN was developed as a result of the Skills for Life provision and contributes to Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets. Family literacy, language and numeracy provision should involve progression of the learner.
According to the National Research and Development Centre the FLLN curriculum is effective and has several positive outcomes. For instance
“there are gains that are immediately transferred to home — e.g. when adults participating in FLLN programmes develop a greater understanding of how their children learn and what they can do to support that. Existing research evidence suggests that children who take part in FLLN courses do make gains (Brooks et al. 2008). Schools report better motivation and increased confidence inthe children who take part in FLLN programmes, with consequent improvements in their overall performance at school. Children also benefit in terms of increased LLNrelated interaction with adults, and there is evidence to support a link between parents/carers’ involvement in their children’s literacy and their children’s improvements in literacy learning (Brooks et al. 2008). Adults also develop their skills in LLN; this may lead to accreditation and progression…