Discover Numeric[All]!

Gamified museum methodologies towards the acquisition of numeracy, literacy, and transversal skills for illiterate adults

In 2018, the European Council adopted the recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning and recognised the importance of attaining those competences to sustain current living standards and foster social cohesion. The Reference Framework consists of 8 key competences, which are a fundamental prerequisite for one’s well-being, continuous societal development and engagement. 

In the Numeric[All] project, we aim to improve and extend the supply of high-quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of low-skilled individuals through the development of gamified, non-formal mathematical tools, consisting components of a mobile museum, with the ultimate aim of cultivating and bolstering basic educational and professional skills of illiterate adult learners. Adult learning and education are currently high on the EU’s agenda, both in terms of strengthening adults’ social cohesion and inclusion but also in advancing their key competencies and ICT/digital/STEM skills in an era characterised by digital transformation.

While having the ability to read a text or calculate one’s monthly costs can often be taken for granted, for many Europeans, it is not that simple. Literacy and numeracy difficulties have a cross-generational and cross-gender impact, with 1 in 5 having poor reading skills in 55 million EU adults (PIAAC 2015). About 20-25 % of European adults aged 16-65 have low literacy & numerical skills levels, making them less likely to learn or participate fully in the digitally driven economy and society. Moreover, 24% of the EU population are at or below level 1 in numeracy (on the five point scale) (European Basic Skills Network, 2014).

Defining the key terms of the project

According to the EU’s High Level Group of Experts on Literacy (2012), the term’ literacy’ in this project is distinguished into baseline and functional literacy. The ‘baseline’ is the ability to read and write at a level that enables self-confidence and improvement. The ‘functional’ is the ability to read and write at a level that allows development and functioning in society. ‘Numeracy’, according to PIAAC, is the ‘ability to access, use, interpret, and communicate mathematical information and ideas, in order to engage in and manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life’ (OECD, 2012). Adults with literacy and numeracy difficulties can feel ashamed about their shortcomings, leading to a learning phobia, isolation, stigmatisation, and low self-esteem. Moreover, low-skilled adults face difficulties finding and/or keeping a job, leading to higher poverty risks, social exclusion, and limited political participation. Poor and isolated parents impact youngsters through a reduced capacity to support their children’s schooling. Literacy and numeracy also affect one’s health, whereby poorer health and higher mortality are recorded due to a lack of understanding one’s treatment or limited participation in regular check-ups. Additionally, low-skilled adults are the least likely to upskill and pursue adult learning and training (OECD, 2012), thus being trapped in a stagnant situation, often relying on social benefits. Literacy and numeracy of adult population are key competences in supporting the lives of all citizens and it contributes to development of economies and societies around the world (UNESCO, 2020).

Why this project?

Because of all mentioned above, the Numeric[All] project intents to address adults’ deficiencies in key competences, by providing adult trainers and lifelong learning centres with modern tools to create a gamified mobile museum composed of non-formal, three-dimensional (3D) mathematical tools that aim to develop and reinforce basic professional skills for illiterate adults. This project also considers the global shift into technology-rich environments by combining literacy and numeracy with digital education in a playful and meaningful way that keeps learners’ motivation high and renders learning more engaging. 

The general objectives of Numeric[All] are to:

  • Develop a culture of acquisition of key competencesand innovation among illiterate adults 
  • Provide an innovative, gamified, non-formal mathematical modelwith theoretical and practical methods that will motivate adult trainers in NGOs to commit to lifelong learning 
  • Strengthen cooperationand exchange of information and good practices between different areas of Europe.
  • Support the development of the EU as a knowledge-based society
  • Support the creation of relevant e-learning content for teaching and learningin local languages, and simultaneously support the processes for curriculum integration and assessment, by making the e-learning content available under open licensing.

What do we aim to create in Numeric[All]?

In the scope of this project, we intend to create several project results, which will be available in English and four languages of the partnership (French, Spanish, Greek, and Portuguese).

  1. Numeric[All] Methodological Guide: Guidebook outlining the qualitative characteristics and behavioural traits of illiterate adults in partner countries, and best practices for acquiring key competences and prevailing educational opportunities, grounded on gamified experiences and non-formal processes 
  2. The gamified mobile museum for illiterate adults: 16 blueprints of tailor-made hands-on exhibits for illiterate adults, accompanied by guidelines on learning objectives, gained skills, etc.
  3. STEM module on 3D modelling with a DIY creation kit: 20-hour module along with a Non-Formal Laboratory Manual for the delivery of the module by lifelong learning organisations and a DIY creation kit for the design and assembling of the 16 interactive exhibits
  4. The Numeric[All] E-Book: E-book for the exploitation of exhibits containing 16 tailor-made worksheets, 16 tailor-made lesson plans and 4 short videos 

The Numeric[All] project is expected to last for two years, during which we will inform you of its advancement, so stay tuned for more!

References:

European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Key competences for lifelong learning, Publications Office, 2019, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2766/291008

European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, EU high level group of experts on literacy: final report, September 2012, Publications Office, 2014, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2766/34382

European Basic Skills Network (2014) Policy Brief Make it count: Changing the way we think about numeracy, May 2014. http://www.basicskills.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/EBSN-Numeracy-Briefer-than-Brief-Policy-paper_digital-version.pdf

Gal, I., & UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). (2020) Adult numeracy: assessment and development.

OECD (2012), Literacy, Numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments: Framework for the OECD Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264128859-en.

OECD (2019), Skills Matter: Additional Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/1f029d8f-en.

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