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Changes in Practice
Results of the analysis:
The tutors chose to make changes in practice which aimed to
a) make the students more aware of the reading and writing in their everyday lives which could act as resources for their learning;
b) make reading and writing on courses more resonant with students' vernacular literacy practices;
c) make the communicative aspects of learning more explicit and visible;
d) make the reading and writing on courses more relevant to learning.
There are 12 dimensions to a literacy practice: a change in any one changes the nature of the practice.
Each tutor thought creatively about the role of reading and writing on their courses, and how they could be fine-tuned in relation to one or more of these dimensions, so that the literacy practices would help students to learn and demonstrate their learning, rather than acting as barriers to success.
Tutors often felt themselves constrained to use existing assessments, which seemed to limit the possibilities for such changes. Often the most beneficial change would have been to change the assessment requirement. But many FE staff at various levels were hesitant to do this because of the exigencies of moderation, and/or because they felt that it was not within their power.
The changes in practice depended on the tutors' own professional expertise and preferences: what amounted to a change in practice for one tutor might be an established practice for another. Changes in practice are not necessarily innovative, but they can be new to the particular staff and students involved.
Changes in practice which engaged with students' everyday literacy practices tended to increase capacity for engagement and recall, and confidence.
Not all students wish to or will draw upon their everyday resources. Older students tend to view the use of pictures/icons/symbols other than writing text as childlike. This is also the case for many students on more advanced courses.
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