C&G Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Level 4
Theory Assignment 1.4
Evaluate a range of ways to embed elements of functional skills in your specialist area.
Functional skills, a new development initiative to standardise the qualifications for English, maths and I.C.T. In the past they have been known as several different names: core skills, common skills, basic skills, key skills, a minimum core. Wilson (2009)
These are building blocks of skills that enable the learner to underpin all learning, without these skills learners would struggle with all the basic learning, life and work skills. During the teaching cycle within my workshop/classroom, I try to introduce as many functional skills as possible into my courses. Here are a few examples of how I include some of the functional skills into the course content:
This is an example of an exercise that always seems to go down well with my learners, I divide my learners into pairs, issue them with pens, paper, a catalogue from a tool supplier, i.e. screw fix and set them a task to order and purchase a set of basic tools that would enable them to carry out a decorating project from start to finish. I set them a budget and they have to stay within the budget. This exercise encourages numerous functional skills to be developed. Communication , literacy , problem solving, thinking literacy, maths , using a calculator( IT skills are almost impossible for me to include because of the restrictions exposed on the learners by the prison regime).
Another example that always seems to be a fun challenge with my learners is a word list competition. I have printed handouts with a list of words, meanings and explanations and as I progress through a unit of the course, the students have to try to identify the buzz words on the sheet. The first ones in the class to identify the full list correctly get a simple prize i.e I make coffee for the winner .. Simple but effective and enjoyed...
References: Wilson L. 2009 Practical Teaching A guide to PTLLS and DTLLS p43. Zirinski. Croatia.
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