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Rachel Barwell

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Last updated 06 December 2012 11:54 by NZTecAdmin

View comments from Rachel Barwell, National Prisoner Training Coordinator for Corrections, taken at the Literacy Forum in Wellington, May 2011.

Key content

Rachel likens embedded literacy and numeracy to 'hiding the vegetables in the mince', and describes fostering a positive learning environment.


But if you’ve got a class and you know who needs help in what area, then you can design a whole vocational program with the embedded literacy and numeracy in it that everyone gets. And I used the analogy, it’s a bit like hiding the vegetables in the mince. Everyone gets a bit of it, and you know as a tutor you can begin to really work with those that need more support and in fact help for the guys who are already quite skilled to help others, you start to foster that more, learning environment as opposed to quite an alienated learning environment.

We’ve focused our intention away from simply putting people through unit standards and focusing on them achieving qualifications, so we’ve had to think long and hard about how to deliver those qualifications in a way that they have the chance, the opportunity to finish them while they’re in prison.

And when you talk to prisoners often what they, why they want to improve their literacy numeracy skills is to help their kids. It’s like that whole embarrassment thing, the kids have got homework, I don’t know how to help. I mean it must be terrible for an adult to go through. So whilst those things don’t get measured and they don’t get funded they also very important part of that rehabilitation process.



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