As an employee of County Community College, I teach an Adult Basic Skills Numeracy class. I originally started the academic year with 18 learners, but by April 2015 I had approximately 6 learners per session. Most learners are female, of Afro-Caribbean or African origin and aged between 20 and 50 years. It has been suggested that many learners see numeracy as a male domain (Cemen, 1987; Gutbezahl, 1995; Levine, 1995; Miller et al, 1994) and I have noticed that I teach predominantly female learners who are particularly shy and have low self esteem. They are also full of self doubt and lack confidence in their mathematical ability and some do not see numeracy as a useful subject when compared to literacy. To some it is just a means to an end and not something to learn for the sake of self-improvement.
Most learners are not in full time employment when they start the course, but as the course proceeds, approximately half of all learners will leave to take a job. The main motivation of learners is to achieve a numeracy qualification and couple this with a literacy qualification and use this as route for entry into the Access to Higher Education programs offered either by County Community College or neighboring colleges. Most of the learners can see the benefit of gaining qualifications as a way of improving their lifestyles by allowing them to have more employment options. The majority of learners have school age children and it has been noted that a lot of the learners want to make a good example for their children in regards to education and employment.
I have chosen two learners to use for a case study of learning difficulties experienced by adult numeracy learners. The learning difficulties that are ...
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