Te Arapiki Ako
"Towards better teaching & learning"

Peter Allen

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Last updated 06 December 2012 11:56 by NZTecAdmin

View comments from Peter Allen, Director of the Learning Wave, taken at the Literacy Forum in Wellington, May 2011.

Key content

Peter discusses their contextualised approach to teaching literacy and numeracy, and the cycle of growth that is fostered by a sustained embedded training approach.


We work in the workplaces, we have limited funding for limited time to run programs inside workplaces, and just teaching straight literacy doesn't work. Workers need to know and understand how it relates to their job and how the learning program can actually make their worlds better and different. So it’s been our approach right from the outset to work with small groups rather than one on one, and to take the very real learning situations that happen in the workplace and use them to create literacy skills and numeracy skills for those workers that are relevant to their job. If it’s meaningful they get motivated to actually do it.

I think the key is the employers, if you’ve got an engaged CEO and senior management team, you’ve got a program that is going to survive beyond a limited number of hours or a limited number of sessions. If you haven’t got the engagement of the senior leadership group, if they don’t see it linking to what they’re doing as a business basically you’re wasting your time and your wasting your resources and you’re wasting the governments resources.

The great news is there are some employers who absolutely get it. And they’re using learning as part of their strategic weaponry to compete both nationally and internationally and we’re starting to see the effect of that weaponry actually turning into dollars for them, turning into greater productivity, turning into greater employer engagement. One of our clients doesn’t pay the best bucks, but their workers are engaged with them because they’ve been investing in up-skilling them, and helping them do their jobs better, and helping them actually translating it into their whanau, into their communities, into their families, into their sports groups, into their church groups, and making that all absolutely relevant. So it’s a lovely vicious cycle, it’s a cycle of growth and development as opposed to a cycle of deprivation.



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