Professor Diana Coben, PhD, FHEA, FRSA, joined us in mid-2011 from King’s College London, where she was Professor of Adult Numeracy and is now Emeritus Professor.
She is Director of the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults and a Professor in the University of Waikato Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education.
Diana brings a wealth of experience from her work as a tutor,manager, academic and researcher in adult literacy and numeracy over many years.
In the world of adult literacy and numeracy it’s important to share new ideas, developments and research and Diana’s international links are strong.
She was one of the founders of England’s National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) where she worked on many research and development projects. NRDC sadly closed in December 2015 but reports and other information are available at http://www.nrdc.org.uk/
She was also Founding Chair, and, since 2005, is an Honorary Trustee of Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM), an international research forum bringing together researchers and practitioners in adult mathematics/numeracy teaching and learning in order to promote the learning of mathematics by adults: http://www.alm-online.net/.
Diana’s particular research interests are adult numeracy, especially in safety-critical work contexts, and financial capability. Some of her current and recent activities, in New Zealand and internationally, are described below.
Diana serves on Te Māngai Penapena Pūtea Working Group on Māori Savings and Financial Literacy, addressing Recommendations 8/9 of He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, The Māori Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan. He Kai Kei Aku Ringa identifies Māori savings and financial literacy as a priority workstream https://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/a-matou-mohiotanga/business-and-economics/he-kai-kei-aku-ringa--the-crown-maori-economic-gro. Two reports produced by the Working Group are at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/infrastructure-growth/maori-economic-development/maori-financial-capability-reports
Diana chaired the Advisory Group for New Zealand’s Financial Knowledge and
Behaviour Survey 2013: see http://www.cflri.org.nz/research-and-reports/financial-literacy#s2 for details.
She is an invited member of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s (NZQA’s)
Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education Unit Standards Review Panel.
Diana is a member of an international interdisciplinary team investigating numeracy for nursing – see, for example, the ‘Safety in Numbers’ Virtual Special Issue of the journal Nurse Education in Practice http://www.nurseeducationinpractice.com/content/safety.
An article summarising this:
Coben, D., & Weeks, K. W. (2014). Meeting the mathematical demands of the safety critical workplace: Medication dosage calculation problem-solving for nursing. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 86(2), 253-270. doi: 10.1007/s10649-014-9537-3.
Diana was a member of the New Zealand Delegation to the international invitational conference at which the results of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC) Round One were released in Washington DC in November 2013 https://www.ets.org/c/22217/. Current literacy and numeracy skill levels in New Zealand will be revealed when New Zealand’s results are released in 2016 in PIAAC Round Two – watch this space http://www.literacyandnumeracyforadults.com/resources/357477
Diana is part of an ongoing international comparative study of adult numeracy in New Zealand and other countries, with Dr Barbara Miller-Reilly and other collaborators. This work has focussed on: adult numeracy in international surveys; professional development for adult numeracy; literacy and language issues in adult numeracy education; and using PIAAC data to explore adults’ numeracy practices. She has presented and published this work at ALM conferences http://www.alm-online.net/alm-conference-proceedings/ and in the ALM International Journal http://www.alm-online.net/alm-publications/alm-journal/.
Together with officials from the Ministry of Education, Diana contributed to an
International comparison of mathematics education in the secondary and tertiary
sectors - see: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/towards-universal-participation-post-16-mathematics. She is interested in Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) and on her visits back to the UK catches up on what’s being done there with and for young people who have fallen through the learning and working net.
If anyone is doing research on adult literacy or numeracy or thinking of doing some research leading to a qualification and would like to talk over their ideas, please contact Diana at email@example.com