An Investigation of Oracy and Graphicacy Knowledge and Skills Development, in a Selected Post-Primary Initial Teacher Education Programme in the Field of Technical Education
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Prior to 2011, Ireland's performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) was unsatisfactory. To improve these results, the Department of Education and Skills successfully implemented a strategic literacy and numeracy framework. Literature presents literacy as overarching categories, with sub-sets such as oracy and graphicacy although little has been published on oracy and graphicacy skills development in initial teacher education. This study seeks to redress this imbalance by investigating these skills in the technical subject area, in the context of an Irish initial teacher education case study, the output of which is a workshop series on oracy and graphicacy. Data gathering methods include questionnaires, a focus group, and two interviews. A thematic analysis of the data, cross referencing the data sources and the analysis of official programme documents was conducted to evaluate the programmes approach to oracy and graphicacy development. A finding from the examination of the programme modules showed that pre-service teachers were more likely to recognize oracy and graphicacy in the module when they were explicitly named in their module descriptors. Two recommendations from this study are: 1) to integrate explicit oracy and graphicacy strategies into the teaching, learning and assessment design plan for all module descriptors on the case study programme, and 2) to implement an oracy and graphicacy training workshop in the academic year 2023-2024, with the intention of enhancing oracy and graphicacy skill development and practice, as informed by this research. This study is a single bounded case study, but its methodology can be replicated across other teacher education programmes and adapted for different ITE contexts. It provides an original contribution to the effective promotion of oracy and graphicacy skills development in the context of post primary technical education.
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