Training is also connected with staffing. If there are full-time continuing staff, an investment in training can be more readily justified, and may be more likely to pay off. If there are part-time staff who work on a temporary or contract basis, there is less scope for training - at least insofar as the employer is concerned. (Individuals still have the option of pursuing training of their own accord, on their own time, at their own expense - possible, but less likely.)
Given that many of the teachers in this field are likely to be part-time or working on an temporary or contract basis (and also working primarily on other programs in addition to numeracy), it will be important to develop courses and other forms of training and development to meet their needs for attaining higher levels of proficiency in education related to numeracy.
The training of volunteers and tutors should not be neglected. In mathematics, there will always be a need for tutors - but most tutors lack specific training.
As numeracy and basic mathematics education become more important, it will also be necessary to add more full-time teachers - especially resource teachers - who are specialized in numeracy and who can provide support to other teachers (and to volunteers).
For numeracy, it is important that instruction in mathematics be connected with instruction in other areas - all the more so since numeracy involves the use of math and numbers in a wide variety of situations. Ideally, math and numbers should be a component of other courses, in a co-ordinated way: just as there is "reading across the curriculum", so there should be "math across the curriculum".
Another approach which has been effective in many cases is to enhance numeracy learning through verbalization. An example would be "paired problem solving" in which two students work together on a problem: one solves the problem and "thinks aloud", verbalizing the different ideas and steps in coming at the problem, while the other student observes, takes notes, and provides comments and feedback at the end of the process. More generally, teamwork is helpful in promoting a more integrated approach, especially since it develops the communication component of numeracy.
It also helps if numeracy and adult education programs are integrated with other programs and services which more broadly address the needs of adult learners, e.g., counseling services and social programs which provide assistance in difficult personal situations, thereby enabling the students to stay in the adult education and numeracy programs.
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