Keiko Yasukawa is a lecturer in the School of Education at UTS. She is currently the School's Teaching and Learning Coordinator.
She has been working at UTS since 1993 in various roles including as Education Developer in the Engineering, and teaching and coordinating adult education programs in Education.
Engagement in the professional fields of adult education is an important part of Keiko's work.
Keiko has held leadership positions in the Australian Council for Adult Literacy and the NSW Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council since 2009. Through her involvement in these organisations she has undertaken a range of policy advocacy and professional development work in partnership with practitioners.
Keiko is a member of the Australian Council of Dean's Vocational Education Group. This Group consists of higher education VET teacher educators who work together in VET policy advocacy and current issues relating to the quality of teaching and learning in VET.
Keiko has had a long and active involvement in the National Tertiary Education Union at the Branch, Division and National levels.
Keiko was a long time member of the editorial collective of Education Links (formerly Radical Education Dossier), a magazine aimed at providing a radical critique of Australian education until the magazine was discontinued in 2006.
Keiko's research interest areas are:
- adult literacy and numeracy policies, pedagogies and practices
- critical numeracy and the social studies of mathematics
- precarious employment in Australian higher education
She is the lead editor of Literacy and Numeracy Studies: an international journal in the education and training of adults.
- media responses to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills, with Mary Hamilton (Lancaster U), Jeff Evans (Middlesex U), and others
- Scholarly teaching fellows as a new category of employment in Australian universities: impacts and prospects for teaching and learning, with James Goodman (UTS), and others
Recently completed projects:
- Investigating the 'crisis': production workers' literacy and numeracy practices, with Steve Black & Tony Brown (UTS), funded by the NCVER
- Working together: integrated literacy and numeracy in VET courses, with Steve Black (UTS), funded by DEEWR
Keiko coordinates the TESOL Practicum program.
She also coordinates and teaches the subjects:
013105 Language Development
013150 Literacies and Numeracies at Work
028289 Numeracy for Lifelong and Lifewide Learning
Critical Perspectives in Adult Literacy and Numeracy in a Globalised World
Current dominant discourses of adult literacy and numeracy in many OECD
countries foreground the economic interests of industry and nations and the
benefits to ...
Evans, J., Yasukawa, K., Mallows, D. & Creese, B. 2017, 'Numeracy skills and the numerate environment: Affordances and demands', Adults Learning Mathematics: an International Journal, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 17-26.
Yasukawa, K. & Smith, E. 2017, 'What makes a good VET teacher? Views ofAustralian VET teachers and students', International Journal of Training Research, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 23-40.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Yasukawa, K., Hamilton, M. & Evans, J. 2017, 'A comparative analysis of national media responses to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills: policy making from the global to the local?', Compare, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 271-285.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016 British Association for International and Comparative Education The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is put forward as a landmark development in the lifelong monitoring and international comparison of education. The first round of PIAAC's Survey of Adult Skills compared performance in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments across 24 countries. However, the translation of any OECD agenda into national policies is mediated by many actors, including the media. This paper examines and compares how the national media of Japan, England and France reported on the PIAAC results of their countries and the extent to which these reports mirror key messages from the OECD's Country Notes. It begins to trace how the OECD PIAAC agendas materialise into national policies. Although their role in this initial period was limited, we argue the roles of the media together with other policy actors must be monitored as they interact to shape possibilities for sustainable adult education policies.
Evans, J. & Yasukawa, K. 2016, 'Researchers as Policy Actors? Examining interactions between mathematics education research and PIAAC', Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal, vol. 31, no. SPECIAL ISSUE THE PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION AT ICME 13.
Education policy making is a fluid and political process involving various actors bringing with them different perspectives and ideologies. We ask what is a policy actor, what types of roles can be played in the policy field, and what actions can be performed, by researchers in areas like mathematics education, and particularly adults' mathematics education. We then focus on a relatively new part of the OECD's portfolio, the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The first wave of the Survey of Adult Skills (SAS), in 2011-12 involved an assessment of adult skills in Literacy, Numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments in 24 industrialised countries. It is likely to have significant transnational influences on agenda setting with respect to national lifelong learning policies in participating OECD countries. In this paper, we examine a selection of analyses published by mathematics education researchers to investigate whether, and in what ways, such researchers are interacting with the PIAAC agenda.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2016, 'Research that counts: OECD statistics and 'policy entrepreneurs' impacting on Australian adult literacy and numeracy policy', Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 165-180.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper analyses research that has impacted on Australia's most recent national policy document on adult literacy and numeracy – the National Foundation Skills Strategy (NFSS). The paper draws in part on Lingard's 2013 paper entitled 'The impact of research on education policy in an era of evidence-based policy' in which he outlines the distinction between research for and of policy. The former is privileged in education policy formation and comprises largely statistical evidence (i.e. 'policy as numbers') often drawing on the globalised authority of organisations such as the OECD, along with research commissioned by policy makers and undertaken by 'policy entrepreneurs'. Research of policy represents academically oriented research, which is often qualitative, seeks new knowledge, and may challenge the status quo. Through an analysis of studies cited in and thus impacting on the NFSS, we detail the main authors of research for policy and indicate their ideological commitment to the neoliberal agenda that now dominates the adult literacy and numeracy field in Australia and other OECD countries. Research of policy in this context has had little policy impact, but is nevertheless promoted by the authors as a means of countering the current reductionist discourses of adult literacy and numeracy reflected in national policy.
Smith, E., Hodge, S. & Yasukawa, K. 2015, 'VET teacher education in Australian universities: who are the students and what are their views about their courses?', Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 419-433.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In Australia, the question of the level and nature of qualifications for vocational education and training (VET) teachers is a highly contested and political topic. VET teachers are only required to have a pre-university, certificate level pedagogical qualification, the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. They possess substantially lower-level qualifications than teachers in other education sectors, although this was not always the case. The paper reports on research which investigated the experiences of VET teacher-education students studying for university qualifications. The research was undertaken in response to requests from policy stakeholders for evidence about the efficacy of higher-level qualifications. The research indicated student satisfaction with their courses and an alignment between what they saw as the benefits with the identified challenges of VET teaching. They also suggested areas for improvement. The findings are analysed with relation to the findings of a Productivity Commission inquiry into the VET workforce, which identified a number of capability gaps.
Smith, E., Yasukawa, K. & Hodge, S. 2015, 'Australian VET teacher education: What is the benefit of pedagogical studies at University for VET teachers?', TVET@Asia, no. 5, pp. 1-15.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In Australia, the level and nature of qualifications for vocational education and training (VET) teachers is a highly contested and political topic. VET teachers are only required to have a pre-university, certificate level, pedagogical qualification, the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. They possess substantially lower level qualifications than teachers in other education sectors. But this has not always been the case. Nowadays, some VET teachers still choose to undertake university-level pedagogical qualifications. Almost all of these students study part-time while already working as VET teachers. This paper reports on work undertaken by members of the Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group to provide an evidence base to argue for higher pedagogical qualifications for VET teachers. The paper draws on two major sources of evidence: data and arguments gathered for submission into a government inquiry on the VET teaching workforce; and a 2013 survey of VET teacher-education students and recent graduates in university VET-teaching qualifications. We conclude that university-level VET teacher education studies help practitioners develop the high level of knowledge and skills required for the complex work of VET teaching, as well as suggesting some further benefits resulting from the dialogue between practitioners and academics.
Black, S., Yasukawa, K. & Brown, T. 2015, 'The literacy and numeracy 'crisis' in Australian workplaces: discursive rhetoric vs. production floor realities', Journal of Education and Work, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 607-630.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2013 Taylor & Francis. The dominant discourse on adult literacy and numeracy in Australia sees the federal government, industry, workforce skills agencies and the media speaking with one voice on the 'crisis' involving workers' low literacy and numeracy skills. Underpinning this discourse are the Australian results of the international Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) which are used to model correlations between low literacy/numeracy levels and productivity. In turn, these correlations are deemed to have implications for the competitiveness of individual enterprises and the prosperity of the nation. In the ALLS, approximately half of manufacturing workers are found at the lowest two levels. Adopting an ethnographic perspective, and viewing literacy and numeracy as social practices, this paper investigates this 'crisis' from the situated perspectives of managers, trainers and workers in three manufacturing companies. Multiple observations of production work and semi-structured interviews with over 50 company personnel reveal a contradiction between the crisis discourse rhetoric on workplace literacy and numeracy and the realities of production work. Literacy and numeracy are found not to have a negative influence on production work in the three companies. This raises questions about the basis for the crisis discourse, and government policy and programmes that flow from it.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2014, 'Level 3: another single measure of adult literacy and numeracy', The Australian Educational Researcher, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 125-138.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In reporting the Australian results of the 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, Adult literacy and life skills survey, summary results, Australia, 2008a, p. 5) stated that of the five internationally identified levels of literacy and numeracy in the survey, Level 3 is regarded by the survey developers as the `minimum required for individuals to meet the complex demands of everyday life in the emerging knowledge-based economy+. In effect, this Level 3 criterion, in the wake of traditional functional literacy/illiteracy dichotomies, creates yet another `single measure+ through which to distinguish those who can from those who cannot function in society. The Level 3 criterion and the accompanying verbatim quote have since been cited extensively by powerful institutions, including government, industry and skills in their promotion of a crisis discourse in adult literacy and numeracy. This has led in turn to national policy responses on `foundation skills+ and nationally agreed performance targets (by the Council of Australian Governments) for skills and workforce development based on the ALLS Level 3. In this paper we question the validity, origin and significance of the Level 3 criterion and contend that highlighting this aspect in the reporting of the ALLS has resulted in a narrow and unbalanced perspective on the role of literacy and numeracy in society
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2014, 'The literacy myth continues: Adapting Graff's thesis to contemporary discourses on adult 'foundations skills' in Australia', Critical Studies in Education, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 213-228.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Black, S.R., Yasukawa, K. & Brown, T. 2014, 'Changing conceptualisations of literacy and numeracy in lean production training: Two case studies of manufacturing companies', Studies in the Education of Adults, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 58-73.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Brown, T., Yasukawa, K. & Black, S.R. 2014, 'Seeing and hearing: Examining production workers' literacy and numeracy practices in a context of crisis', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 188-200.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Yasukawa, K., Brown, T. & Black, S.R. 2014, 'Disturbing Practices: Training workers to be lean', Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26, no. 6/7, pp. 392-405.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibilities for expansive learning during organizational change. It considers the introduction of `lean production as a disturbance to the existing work practices. The paper considers two case studies of `lean production training with production workers in manufacturing firms. Data for the study consisted of semi-structured interviews, observations of workers during work and training. Engeströms third generation Cultural Historical Activity Theory was used as the key theoretical tool for analysis. The study found that the introduction of and training for `lean production did not lead to expansive learning. The training did not afford spaces to address the fundamental contradictions between the `earning a living and `productivity motives of work. Further research on the different kinds of `spaces for learning could lead to greater insights into the affordances of expansive learning in workplaces. In particular, the concept of `third space is useful in such an endeavor. Training designed to increase productivity could integrate more discussions about what workers themselves should expect to gain from increased productivity. The paper presents a critical perspective on recent case studies of workplace training at a time when workforce development and `lean production are uncritically promulgated as beneficial. It highlights the opportunities that exist for critical educators to make interventions in the interests of the workers.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2013, 'Beyond deficit approaches for integrating language, literacy and numeracy in Australian VET', Journal of Further and Higher Education, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 574-590.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In light of the perceived new significance to the Australian economy of adult language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills, this paper presents a broad picture of how LLN is being integrated in Australian vocational education and training (VET) and, through reference to selected programmes, indicates some future directions. Based on a national environmental scan of LLN providers and in-depth interviews with over 50 VET teachers and managers, we conclude that integrated LLN in Australian VET largely fits a deficit paradigm. In the main, students are assessed at the beginning of their course to identify the LLN skills they lack and then provided with assistance from a specialist LLN teacher, which may be in the form of individual support in a study centre, tuition in a separate LLN programme, or assistance within a team teaching structure in the vocational classroom. We focus mainly on the latter in this paper, explaining that often the LLN teacher assumes a secondary, `hovering role in the vocational classroom, helping primarily those students identified to be `in need of LLN support, while the vocational teacher delivers the vocational content. We provide examples of alternative models of integrated LLN which feature a shared or equal role for the LLN teacher, and we examine these using a theoretical framework developed from the work of Lea and Street (1998, 2006) on academic writing. Based on Lea and Streets work, we refer to these models as: `study skills, `vocational socialisation and `vocational literacies and numeracies.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2013, 'Disturbing the pedagogical status quo: LLN and vocational teachers working together', Pedagogies: An International Journal, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 44-59.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
When language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) teachers work together with vocational teachers as a team, not only do students improve their course outcomes in terms of completions and employment, but the pedagogical practices of both teachers can change and improve. In this article, we begin to explore some of the issues and provide examples of pedagogical changes, linking them with research on interdisciplinary teacher teams in other education sectors that draw on activity theory, and higher education studies of academic literacies. This article draws on a recent national study of the integration of LLN in the delivery of vocational education and training (VET) courses in Australia in which interviews with over 50 VET teachers and managers provided insights into the pedagogies that emerge when LLN teachers and vocational teachers work as a team. Particularly significant is the relative status of the teachers working together and the cultural and historical practices that enforce or challenge this. Pedagogical changes are encouraged in situations where teachers have equal status and their respective specialist disciplinary expertise is in a relationship of horizontal diversity to each other.
Yasukawa, K., Brown, T. & Black, S.R. 2013, 'Production Workers' literacy and numeracy practices: using cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) as an analytical tool', Journal of Vocational Education and Training, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 369-384.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Public policy discourses claim that there is a 'crisis' in the literacy and numeracy levels of the Australian workforce. In this paper, we propose a methodology for examining this 'crisis' from a critical perspective. We draw on findings from an ongoing research project by the authors which investigates production workers' literacy and numeracy in lean manufacturing firms. We focus on how language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) practices are embedded in production work, and investigate various perspectives, including those of management, trainers and workers, on LLN problems and issues in the workplace. We adopt a critical perspective that analyses the way work, learning in work, and literacy and numeracy in the workplace are shaped and reshaped by social relations and culture, values and the histories of the industry and the local workplaces. This perspective examines literacy and numeracy as social practices and, using the theoretical analysis of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), we indicate some of the complexities surrounding literacy and numeracy issues in workplaces, which have implications for the dominant `crisis discourse.
Yasukawa, K., Widin, J., Smith, V., Aubusson, P.J., Rivera, K., Van Tiel, M. & Whitty, H.E. 2013, 'Examining Museum Visits as Literacy Events: the role of mediators', Literacy and Numeracy Studies, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 85-113.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Museum exhibitions are literacy rich environments. Visitors may engage with a range of texts including texts that constitute the exhibition objects themselves, those that convey information about the objects and those that instruct visitors about how the visitors are expected by the museum to navigate through the exhibition. The ways in which visitors engage with these diverse texts are important defining factors of the visitors museum experience. For museums, understanding how texts in their exhibitions are influencing the museum experience, and the possibility of a museum experience for the broad public community is important in the fulfilment of their public mission as cultural and education institutions. In this paper, we adopt a view of literacy as a social practice, the perspective of New Literacy Studies (NLS), that offers a fruitful way for museums to consider the interactions between exhibition texts and their audiences. Such considerations, we argue, can inform museums approaches to broadening their visitor demographics to more strongly fulfill their public mission. We show that the goals of NLS resonate with some of the goals of the New Museology movement in museum studies, a movement that aims to democratize what museums represent and how.
Widin, J., Yasukawa, K. & Chodkiewicz, A.K. 2012, 'Teaching practice in the making: Shaping and reshaping the field of adult language, literacy and numeracy teaching', Australian Journal Of Adult Learning, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 9-38.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The field of adult language, literacy and numeracy in Australia is a site of struggle as policy changes, new learner groups and new economic imperatives challenge teachers' expertise and beliefs about good teaching practice. This article examines the ways in which experienced adult language, literacy and numeracy teachers shape and reshape their practices within this tricky and treacherous terrain. Using Bourdieu's analytical tools of field and habitus as a theoretical framework, and Kumaravadivelu's notion of postmethod pedagogy as a lens for observation and interpretation, the paper analyses the ways in which four experienced teachers shape and reshape their classroom practice to create transformative learning for their learners.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2012, 'Shared delivery: Integrating ELT in Australian vocational education', The ELT Journal (online), vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 347-355.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper describes how ESOL and vocational teachers in an Australian technical and further education (TAFE) institute work together to prepare students to complete their vocational courses and obtain employment. Students are concurrently enrolled in an ESOL and a vocational course, and the teachers of these courses work closely together, jointly planning their respective courses and taking equal responsibility for the student groups. Drawing on theoretical concepts from 'academic literacies' studies in higher education, we explain how shared delivery can shift the pedagogy from deficit models, which maintain the disciplinary status quo, to social practice models that open the way to challenge established disciplinary pedagogies and practices. This is accomplished largely due to the equal sharing of the 'ownership' of the programme by the two teachers. We propose that such a model better prepares students for a changing world of work.
Yasukawa, K., Brown, T. & Black, S.R. 2012, 'Workplace literacy and numeracy learning: An opportunity for trade union renewal in Australia?', International Journal of Training Research, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 94-104.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper first examines the current literacy and numeracy 'crisis' in Australian workplaces where loss of productivity, lack of take-up in training, and skills shortages are being blamed on workers' lack of literacy and numeracy skills. Literacy and numeracy in workplaces are more complex and require alternative understandings of literacy and numeracy as well as the perspectives of workers themselves. Secondly, this paper discusses the opportunity for unions to demonstrate their stake in the education and training of workers. We ask what possibilities are there for this to happen; and what models exist from which Australian trade unions can draw? In the UK the Trade Union Congress (TUC) successfully negotiated with the Labour Government, to establish a Union Learning Fund (ULF) and give recognition to union learning representatives (ULRs), to facilitate learning for workers. The paper considers what new directions Australian unions might explore in the emerging VET policy environment.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2011, 'A tale of two councils: Alternative discourses on the 'literacy crisis' in Australian workplaces', International Journal of Training Research, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 218-233.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Australia appears to be in the grip of a `literacy crisis in workplaces. Media reports and industry/skills organisations are decrying the low literacy and numeracy levels of workers and the negative effects these have on productivity. As a consequence, the Australian government has increased funding for workplace literacy and numeracy programs and is poised to do more with a National Foundation Skills Strategy. This paper challenges the crisis discourse. It indicates that similar arguments about low literacy and numeracy in workplaces abounded 20 years ago, and there is unlikely to be a change in this dominant discourse position in the future unless the discourse itself changes. By drawing on data from two accounts of literacy and numeracy in different local government councils, the paper shows how markedly different perspectives on workplace literacy and numeracy can result from researchers adopting an alternative `social practice approach, which draws heavily on the perspectives of workers.
Brown, T. & Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Between Immediacy and Imagination: the place of the educator and organiser in union renewal', Studies in the Education of Adults, vol. 42, no. 1 (Spring), pp. 34-46.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Can the current education programme of the Australian trade union movement contribute to reviving union growth and union culture, develop new activists and leaders, and encourage and facilitate the organisational change needed to re-orient unions to develop broader alliances? Twenty-five Australian trade union leaders were asked to describe the educational activities of their unions and to assess the education provided by the Australian Council of Trade Unions' (ACTU) national Education and Campaign Centre (ECC). Analysis of their responses reveals a number of structural, organisational and pedagogical challenges for delivering a national union education programme. It also raises questions of how education can support a union movement trying to convince new layers of workers that unionism can be a dynamic, forward-looking, social movement. The article outlines the existing course framework as a means of understanding the scope of current educational provision. Drawing on interviewee observations and Newman's concept of three contracts in union education, it considers the roles of educator and of organiser, and how an understanding of these roles is currently expressed by union leaders. We conclude with some questions about ways that the union movement might consider the relationship between education and union renewal.
Brown, T. & Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Learning and adapting for organisational change: researching union education in Australia', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 61-71.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The last quarter century saw a restructuring of employment, production and trade and a dramatic decline in union membership and density levels. There are many explanations for this, including the hostile industrial relations framework imposed by many governments, but there have been other factors such as the growth of new non-unionised industries that often rely on casualised labour; new attitudes to unions by younger workers; a political/cultural decline in the workersâ movement under neo-liberalism; and an inability by many unions to adapt to these changes. Now dramatic economic changes arising from the global financial crisis that will see increased unemployment and further industry restructuring, along with the restructuring and re-skilling implications of climate change, pose new challenges for trade unions. Drawing on research with senior Australian union officials about the movementâs education and training activities this paper considers the relevance of the adaptive systems literature for understanding the operational environments facing unions as they become larger more complex organisations. It considers the existing suite of education activities with reference to Illerisâ tension field and the literature of union renewal that emphasises the need to develop new solidarities and therefore a broader conception of education, learning and development.
Brown, T., Goodman, J. & Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Academic casualization in Australia: class divisions in the University', Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 169-182.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Casualization of teaching has become a major issue in Australian universities. In 1990 casuals delivered about a tenth of all university teaching. By 2008 between a third and a half of university teaching was being delivered by casuals. Quantitative studies have assessed the scale of casualization; this qualitative study addresses the experience of casual academics. It documents a sharpening class divide among academics, which has become institutionally embedded. It reports on interviews with casual academics examining how the divide is experienced, and how it may be addressed. Academic casuals report underpayment and compromised quality; they experience persistent income insecurity; and they find themselves voiceless in the workplace. These experiences are interpreted as aspects of class subordination, and possibilities for addressing them are discussed.
Chodkiewicz, A.K., Widin, J. & Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Making connections to re-engage young people in learning: dimensions of practice', Literacy & Numeracy Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 35-51.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The education of young people who have previously been excluded from formal education is a field often associated with a high risk of failure failure for the learners, teachers and the program. In researching the teaching practices in this field, it is tempting for the researcher to do so through the lens of what they perceive as the pedagogical theories that should be informing contemporary practice. In the field of literacy and numeracy education, the social practices approach has gained prominence among researchers who are sympathetic to a socio-cultural study of literacy and numeracy because of its inclusiveness of multiple literacies and numeracies that can be found in different social contexts. This article analyses one of four case studies in a research project on the teaching practices of experienced literacy and numeracy teachers: teaching literacy and numeracy to socially excluded young people in an inner city youth centre. In their research, the authors had to critically challenge their taken for granted assumptions about what a pedagogy informed by a social practices approach to literacy and numeracy should look like. The teaching methods that they observed at the youth centre, while clearly effective particularly in establishing connections with the learners to form strong relationships of mutual trust - appeared on the surface to defy some of the key features of a social practices approach. In understanding the apparent contradictions between what the authors had expected to see and what they were seeing, Kemmiss framework for the study of practice that is based on the notion of practices as reflexive and dialectical proved fruitful. The framework allowed us to interpret both the theory (the social practices approach to literacy and numeracy) and the practices at the youth centre in more nuanced ways that deepened our appreciation of the theory practice relationship.
What knowledge, skills and dispositions are needed by adult numeracy and literacy teachers to help their learners imagine and build better lives for themselves and sustainable futures for their children and community? What resources can teachers draw on to be able to exercise agency as a group of professionals to give voice to the needs and aspirations of their learners? Using the contemporary Australian adult numeracy and literacy context as a point of reflection, I argue that some degree of propensity to take risks is needed by teachers if they are to exercise agency as professional educators, and that the universities have a renewed role to play in creating spaces for educating risk-taking educators.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Time for National Renewal: Australian adult literacy and numeracy as `foundation skills'', Literacy and Numeracy Studies, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 43-57.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this paper we highlight four dimensions of the adult literacy and numeracy field which we consider should be incorporated in a new strategy. We draw on recent work on social capital which has direct implications for social inclusion, but also for complementing the human capital rationale for adult literacy and numeracy. We link this work to calls for more cross-sectoral partnerships, and we then highlight an area of VET that should receive greater prominence in a national strategy, the integration of literacy and numeracy in the delivery of VET courses. Finally, we consider professional learning and partnerships with universities in adult literacy and numeracy, and how the field can be revitalised.
Australian trade unions are at a pivotal moment. In 2007-2008, a review of the training and education programs of the Education and Campaign Centre (ECC), the education arm of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), was conducted through a series of interviews with leaders of twenty-five unions. The review found that Australian unions do not generally view education as a core strategic activity, and many see the ECC simply as a training provider that they could access if they did not have their own trainers. We argue that there are greater possibilities for a national education centre than are currently being contemplated by the union leaders. A key to realising these possibilities lies in unions articulating a shared purpose for union education, and its role in supporting leaders, officials, delegates and activists in the continuing challenges they face in their work.
Yasukawa, K. 2009, 'Mathematics and Power: Messing around with the politics of number', New Community Quarterly, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 9-11.
Yasukawa, K. 2009, 'Teaching in post-compulsory education: skills, standards and lifelong learning', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 324-325.
Chodkiewicz, A.K., Widin, J. & Yasukawa, K. 2008, 'Engaging Aboriginal Families to Support Student and Community Learning', Dispora, Indigenous and Minority Education, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 64-81.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Engaging families in school-related programs, such as family literacy programs, has been promoted as an effective strategy to assist students who might otherwise fail to achieve success in school. The authors in this article report on an action research initiative with an urban Australian government community school in a relatively socioeconomically disadvantaged area with a significant Aboriginal population. Drawing on a popular education framework, critical pedagogy, and a social practice theory of literacy, the authors develop insights about how strengthening family and community relations with schools can help all parties through developing practical approaches to family engagement and addressing disengagement and resistance to engagement with schools and learning. The authors conclude that educators, project workers, and researchers need to become more literate about the families and communities within and around a school, and make a consistent effort to reach out and include families and the local communities.
Christentensen, O.R., Skovsmose, O. & Yasukawa, K. 2008, 'The Mathematical State of the World : Explorations into the Characteristics of Mathematical Descriptions', Alexandria, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 77-90.
Journal of Science and technology Education
Yasukawa, K. 2007, 'An agenda for mathematics education in the decade of education for sustainable development', Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 7-24.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Chodkiewicz, A.K., Johnston, B. & Yasukawa, K. 2005, 'Educating Parents: The Evenstart financial literacy program', Literacy and Numeracy Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 33-47.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Bryce, P., Johnston, S.F. & Yasukawa, K. 2004, 'Implementing a Program in Sustainability for Engineers at University of Technology, Sydney: a story of intersecting agendas', International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 267-277.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Manidis, M. & Yasukawa, K. 2017, 'Developing Professionally: A Practice Based Perspective' in Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V. & Kahn, P. (eds), Theorising Learning to Teach in Higher Education Realist, Socio-Material and Social Practice Approaches, Routledge, Oxon, pp. 93-109.
This book will appeal to academics interested in how they come to learn to teach, to administrators and academic developers responsible for professional development strategies at universities and masters and PhD level students researching ...
Widin, J. & Yasukawa, K. 2016, 'Designing in/Designing out: Literacies and the Constructionof the Museum Visitor' in De Silva Joyce, H. (ed), Language at Work: Analysing Language Use in Work, Education, Medicaland Museum Contexts, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, pp. 214-230.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K. & Widin, J. 2016, 'Museum Literacies: Reading and Writing the Museum' in Yasukawa, K. & Black, S. (eds), Beyond Economic Interests: Critical perspectives on adult literacy and numeracy in a globalised world, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 135-147.
Yasukawa, K., Skovsmose, O. & Ravn, O. 2016, 'Scripting The World In Mathematics And Its Ethical Implications' in Critical Mathematics Education Theory, Praxis, and Reality, Information Age Publishing, USA, pp. 81-98.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Critical mathematics education also attacks the neutrality of the teaching and learning of mathematics, showing how these are value laden activities indissolubly linked to social and political life.
Yasukawa, K. & Black, S. 2016, 'Introduction: Critical Perspectives in Adult Literacy and Numeracy in a Globalised World' in Beyond Economic Interests: Critical Perspectives on Adult Literacy and Numeracy in a Globalised World, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. ix-xv.
Yasukawa, K. & Black, S. 2016, 'Policy Making at a Distance: A Critical Perspective on Australia's National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults' in Yasukawa, K. & Black, S. (eds), Beyond Economic Interests: Critical perspectives on adult literacy and numeracy in a globalised world, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 19-39.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Evans, J., Wedege, T. & Yasukawa, K. 2013, 'Critical Perspectives on Adults' Mathematics Education' in Clements, M.A.K., Bishop, A., Kilpatrick, J. & Leung, F.K.S. (eds), Third International Handbook of Mathematics Education, Springer, New York, pp. 203-242.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Adults- mathematics education (AME) as a field of study and practice displays a broad range of settings for teaching and learning, and for research. At the same time, its activities develop in a dynamic context of globalization, competition, and social insecurity. AME is faced with the same struggle for its justification, between humanistic and human capital goals of education, that adult education and lifelong education have been facing over the last half-century. This struggle is reflected in AME practice, research and policy. In this chapter, we formulate critical perspectives for examining AME in these three dimensions with a view to helping ourselves and others to clarify and act in crucial areas. Thus, we examine multiple and contested meanings of key terms like numeracy, and how definitions vary depending on whether they seek to foreground the individual learners needs or particular economic imperatives (for example, labour market needs). We illuminate how such variable definitions are experienced by AME learners and practitioners, and how they lead us to problematize ideas such as the transfer of learning of mathematics, for example, from school to work, and from formal to non-formal or informal learning situations. It is timely now, when a new international survey of adults skills, the OECD-sponsored Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is being conducted, to question what these surveys can tell us for the development of AME as a field, and what alternative questions we need to be pursuing independently.
Widin, J. & Yasukawa, K. 2013, 'Re-imagining Citizenship: Views from the classroom' in Vaidehi Ramanthan (ed), Langauge Policies and (Dis) Citizenship Rights, Access, Pedagogies, Multilingual Matters, Bristol, pp. 167-187.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this chapter we explore the highly contested notions of citizenship and dis-citizenship through the experiences of teachers and learners in four very different classroom settings: a literacy and numeracy program for young people disengaged from learning, a vocationally oriented class for speakers of English as an additional language, a numeracy class for adults and a flexible learning centre for adult basic education (ABE) students. The settings bring learners from various intersecting communities within Australia. We take the classroom (in its broadest possible sense) as the point of departure to illustrate citizenship as something generative and collectively created in a shared space. We present a more critical interpretation and diHerent possibilities of citizenship than what is defined by dominant discourses and that which underpins the content of programs designed for people seeking to be accepted as Iworthy citizens'. We show the teacher;s role as pivotal in creating a collaborative space where the society's power relations are acknowledged, but where students' agency to achieve their own goals in and beyond their classrooms is affirmed and addressed. We argue that teachers can work with their learners to create these new spaces of belonging and being.
Yasukawa, K. & Brown, T. 2012, 'Bringing Critical Mathematics to Work: But can numbers mobilise?' in Skovsmose, O. & Greer, B. (eds), Opening the Cage: Critique and politics of mathematics education, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 249-264.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K., Skovsmose, O. & Ravn, O. 2012, 'Shaping and being shaped by mathematics: examining a technology of rationality' in Skovsmose, O. & Greer, B. (eds), Opening the Cage: Critique and Politics of Mathematics Education, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 265-283.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Commentary on Politicising Mathematics Education: Has Politices Gone too Far? Or not Far Enough?' in Sriraman, B. & English, L. (eds), Theories of Mathematics Education: Seeking New Frontiers, Springer, Heildelberg, Doredrecht, London, New York, pp. 639-643.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Chapter in response to chapter by Sriraman, Roscoe & English on Politicicizing Mathematics Education
Yasukawa, K. 2010, 'Educating critical mathematics educators: Challenges for teacher educators' in Alro, H., Ravn, O. & Valero, P. (eds), Critical Mathematics Education: Past, Present and Future, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 209-224.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
When contemplating this question, there are at least three possible areas to examine: the mathematics that the teacher will teach (critical mathematics); tire teacher's pedagogy (critical mathematics pedagogy); or the teacher educator's pedagogy (critical mathematics or numeracy teacher education pedagogy). In this paper I will focus mainly on the second and the third; however,l wiII argue that all three are intimately linked in creating spaces and places where critical mathematics can be a focus of learning. However, to create these spaces and places a key area that adult numeracy teachers and adult numeracy teacher educators need to, and moreover are well placed to engage with, is educational policy because as 1 will argue in this chapter, it is precisely the predisposition to quantitative thinking by bureaucrats and politicians that has contri buted significantly to the marginalization of the broader aims ofleaming in adulthood.
Christensen, O.R., Skovsmose, O. & Yasukawa, K. 2009, 'The Mathematical State of the World: Explorations into the Characteristics of Mathematical Descriptions' in Sriraman, B. & Goodchild, S. (eds), Relatively and Philosophically Earnest, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, pp. 81-94.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this chapter we try to analyse the conditions for describing the world mathematically. vVe consider the role played by mathematics in discussing and analysing "the state of the world." Vle use this discussion to clarify what it means to use a mathematical description. We illustrate why the concepts of "mathematical description" and "mathematical model" are inadequate to evaluate the use of mathematics in decision-making processes. As a result we develop a conceptual framework that is complex enough to match what goes on in scenarios involving applications of mathematics.
Skovsmose, O. & Yasukawa, K. 2009, 'Formatting Power of "Mathematics in a Package": A Challenge for Social Theorising?' in Ernest, P., Greer, B. & Sriraman, B. (eds), Critical Issues in Mathematics Education, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, USA, pp. 255-281.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K. 2008, 'A storybook for beginning teachers in language, literacy and numeracy' in Athanasou, J.A. (ed), Adult Education and Training, David Barlow Publishing, Terrigal, NSW, pp. 159-173.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K. 2003, 'Towards a social studies of mathematics: numeracy and actor-network theory' in kelly, S., Johnston, B. & Yasukawa, K. (eds), The Adult Numeracy Handbook: Reframing Adult Numeracy in Australia, Language australia & NSW Adult Literacy and Numeracy Australian Research Consortium, Melbourne, pp. 26-34.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K. & Johnston, B. 2001, 'Numeracy: negotiating the world through mathematics' in Atweh, B., Forgasz, H. & Nebres, B. (eds), Sociocultural Research on Mathematics Education: an international perspective, Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey, USA, pp. 279-294.
Yasukawa, K. & Evans, J. 2015, 'Critically reading the OECD survey of adult skills', Proceedings of the Eighth International Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Mathematics Education and Society Conference, MES8, Porland, Oregon, pp. 1008-1021.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The first round of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills conducted during 20011/2012 sought to measure adults' proficiency in literacy, numeracy, and 'problem solving skills in technology rich environments. This paper reports on a critical examination of the findings of the performances of two participating countries: Japan and France, as reported in the official reports of the OECD and by the media in the two countries.
Black, S.R. & Yasukawa, K. 2011, 'Beyond deficit approaches to teaching and learning: Literacy and numeracy in VET courses', Bringing Australia's VET research community together, AVETRA, Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne, pp. 1-12.
The paper is available on the AVETRA website as a refereed paper at the following: http://avetra.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/62.00.pdf
Yasukawa, K. & Black, S.R. 2010, 'Integrated literacy and numeracy support in VET - implications for skills, equity and research', Building the foundations: outcomes from the adult language, literacy and numeracu search conference, NCVER Language, literacy and numeracy Search Conference, NCVER, Canberra, pp. 35-42.
Yasukawa, K., Brown, T. & Black, S.R. 2011, 'Exploring the role of Australian trade unions in the education of workers', 14th Annual AVETRA Conference - Research in VET: Janus - reflecting back, projecting forward, Annual AVETRA Conference, AVETRA, Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne, pp. 1-13.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
There are two main elements to this paper. Firstly, we critically examine the current literacy and numeracy âcrisisâ in Australian workplaces in which loss of productivity, lack of take-up in education and training, and skills shortages are being blamed on workersâ lack of literacy and numeracy skills (Australian Industry Group [AiG] 2010a&b, DEEWR 2010, Skills Australia 2010). We indicate that the issues of literacy and numeracy in workplaces are more complex and require alternative understandings of literacy and numeracy (as social practices), and the additional perspectives of the workers themselves. The second main element to this paper is the opportunity for unions to demonstrate their stake in the education and training of workers. We ask: what possibilities are there for this to happen; what models exist from which Australian trade unions can draw? In the UK the Trade Union Congress (TUC) successfully negotiated with the Labour Government, to establish a Union Learning Fund (ULF), and give recognition to union learning representatives (ULRs), to facilitate learning for workers. Evaluations show that literacy and numeracy learning is one of the areas most positively impacted by union learning representatives. Based on a critical analysis of the current policy discourses around adult literacy and numeracy, review of the current overseas literature on the role of union learning representatives in workplaces, and research on the history of the involvement of Australian trade unions in shaping the VET agenda, this paper reviews the role unions played in recent VET policy formation and considers what new directions they might explore in the emerging policy environment.
Brown, T. & Yasukawa, K. 2009, 'Education for union renewal and sustainability', 6th International Researching Work and Learning Conference - RWL6, 6th International Researching Work and Learning Conference - RWL6, Roskilde University, Roskilde University, Denmark, pp. 1-10.
The last quarter century saw a restructuring of employment, production and trade and a dramatic decline in the membership and density levels of unions due to factors including changes in the external environment as neo-liberalism took hold after the post-war boom, restructuring and downsizing of industries that had been union strongholds, and a hostile legal framework. Many unions were structurally and politically ill-equipped to respond to these changes. Much of the effort devoted to turning this situation around has focussed on attempts to recruit new members, establish footholds in new industries and among previously un-organised workers and workers joining the new growth industries. This has become generally known as the 'organising model' and has contained within it the intention of establishing new relationships with activist members, as well as organizations outside the formal labour movement, and employing new education or development opportunities for union staff and members. An extensive literature has emerged, particularly in the United States, that both articulates the rationale and context for new, inclusive ways of organising, alongside details and analyses of organising campaigns (Bronfenbrenner et al 1998; Lopez 2004;Milkman & Voss 2004). What has been missing however in this literature has been a close focus on how education and learning is, or can be, used as part of labour's response to the new world of work, the rise of anti-unionism on the political front, and how union renewal can be built on foundations that imagines a different future to that currently laid out (Clawson 2003, Moody 2007, Fletcher & Gaspasin 2008).
Brown, T. & Yasukawa, K. 2009, 'Possibilities of a national union education centre: views from Australian union leaders', 23rd Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) - Labor, Capital & Change, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, University of Newcastle, AIRAANZ, Newcastle Town Hall, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Australian trade unions are at a pivotal moment. In 2007/2008 a review of the training and education programs of the Education and Campaign Centre (ECC), the education arm of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), was conducted through a series of interviews with leaders of twenty-five unions. The review found that Australian unions do not generally view education as a core strategic activity, and many see the ECC simply as a training provider that they could access if they did not have their own trainers. We argue that there are greater possibilities for a national education centre than are currently being contemplated by the union leaders. A key to realising these possibilities lies in unions articulating a shared purpose for union education, and its role in supporting leaders, officials, delegates and activists in the continuing challenges they face in their work.
Yasukawa, K., Widin, J. & Chodkiewicz, A.K. 2008, 'The benefits of adults learning numeracy', Proceedings of the Fifth Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Mathematics Education and Society, Centro de Investigcao em Educacao Universidade de Lisbon & Department of Education, Learning & Philo, Albufeira, Portugal, pp. 495-504.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
We examine the benefits of adult numeracy learning in the current Australian context by drawing on Schullers framework for analysing the benefits of learning in terms of three capitals: human capital, social capital and identity capital. We argue that although the current adult education policy framework in Australia is biased towards the achievement of only one of the three capitals human capital, the practices of experienced adult educators help to extend the benefits of learning to encompass identity and social capital benefits. We take a case study of a numeracy workshop in an Adult Basic Education (ABE) program in Australia to show how one teacher exemplifies teaching practice that despite the policy gap, helps her learners reap a range of benefits from their numeracy learning.
Brown, T., Hawke, G.A. & Yasukawa, K. 2007, 'Keeping afloat: how ACE organisations adapt in uncertain times', Evolution, Revolution or Status quo: the new context for VET, Evolution, Revolution or Status quo: the new context for VET, Australian Vocational Education & Training Research Association (AVETRA), Victoria University, Australia, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper reports on research exploring the adaptiveness of providers within the NSW Adult and Community Education (ACE) sector. It examines how a number of ACE centres understand and apply adaptiveness and considers the contexts that they operate within. The research, sponsored by the NSW Board of ACE, sought to identify how ACE centres adapt in the context of substantial changes in their operating environment over recent years.
Yasukawa, K. 2005, 'If we have a commitment to social justice, what is it in adult maths/ numeracy education that we think is worth fighting for?', Connecting voices in adult mathematics and numeracy: practitioners, researchers and learners, Connecting Voices: ALM 12th Annual International Conference, Adults Learning Mathematicvs - a Research Forum, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, pp. 1-4.
Yasukawa, K. 2005, 'Education for sustainable development: implications for mathematics education?', Mathematics Education and society: Proceedings of the 4th International Mathematics Education and Society Conference, International Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Centre for Learning Research, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 318-328.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Widin, J., Norman, H.R., Ndaba, A. & Yasukawa, K. 2004, 'An indigenous community learning centre to promote a culture of learning', Bridging cultures: ALA National Conference 2004, Bridging cultures: ALA National Conference, Adult Learning Australia, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper describes a project which focuses on the development of a schooled culture of learning in an inner city Indigenous community. The project is a collaboration between an urban Indigenous community in Sydney, the school that serves children from this community, and academics in the local University. The collaboration aims to promote an intergenerational and community based approach to fostering a schooled culture of learning among the Indigenous members of the community. This paper reports on some of the research from the literature that will inform the way the project will be conducted and framed.
Bryce, P., Johnston, S.F. & Yasukawa, K. 2002, 'Implementing a program in sustainability for engineers at University of Technology, Sydney.', Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, Engineering Education in Sustainable Development, TUDelft, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, pp. 107-114.
Yasukawa, K. 2002, 'Mathematics and Technological Literacy', Mathematics Education and Society: Proceedings of the Third International Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Third International Conference:Mathematics Education & Society, Centre for Research in Learning Mathematics, Helsingor, Denmark, pp. 30-42.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Yasukawa, K. & Skovsmose, O. 2000, 'Formatting Power of Mathematics - A case study and questions for Mathematics Education', Mathematics Education and Society 2nd Inetrnational Conference, N/A, Portugal, pp. 11-0.
Black, S.R., Yasukawa, K. & Brown, T. National Centre for Vocational Education Research 2013, Investigating the 'crisis': Production workers' literacy and numeracy practices, pp. 1-43, Adelaide.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have been used to suggest there is a crisis in the literacy and numeracy skills of Australian adults. This study challenges this current view by looking at the issue from a worker's perspective. Production workers, together with their managers and trainers, from three manufacturing companies were interviewed and observed. Little evidence of a direct link between increasing literacy and numeracy skills of workers and improved productivity was found.
Brown, T., Chodkiewicz, A.K., Hawke, G.A. & Yasukawa, K. OVAL Research, UTS 2007, Adaptive ACE Organisations: Responding to uncertainty, pp. 1-38, Sydney.
A report to the Board of ACE on the capabilities of ACE organisations in NSW in adapting and responding to change
Brown, T., Goodman, J. & Yasukawa, K. National Tertiary Education Union 2006, Getting the best of you for nothing: casual voices in the Australian Academy, pp. 1-54, South Melbourne, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This research was supported by the National Recruitment funding of the NTEU. Its aim was to undertake an in-depth qualitative study of the experiences of casual academic staff in an Australian University, particularly, long-serving casual staff. The study complements the sector-wide survey study conducted by Anne Junor (2004) which looked at casual and fixed term academic and general staff in Australian universities.