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NZEI Welcomes Success Of Literacy Project

For Immediate Release July 24, 2003
From: NZEI Te Riu Roa Media Release


Wellington – The success of a literacy project in South Auckland shows that socio-economic barriers to learning can be overcome if teachers are given the resources and the right professional development says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin.

Thirty schools in Mangere and Otara were part of the Strengthening Education in Mangere and Otara initiative. Research released today focussed on seven of these schools who took part in a professional development programme Picking up the Pace designed by Dr Gwenneth Phillips and Professor Stuart McNaughton. The research showed significant reading improvements for six-year-old students in all of the schools during the course of the three year study.

“This is great news for teachers in general and for teachers in low decile schools in particular,” says Bruce Adin.

“These results show that barriers to learning such as socio-economic conditions and ethnicity can be overcome. But more importantly than that the project shows how those barriers can be overcome,” says Bruce Adin.

The project involved constant analysis of how the students were performing with their reading and writing and using that information to modify their literacy programmes in a way that suited the needs of the children.

“What this project shows is that if you accurately record and assess the data on how each child is performing with their reading and writing and link that to their literacy programme you will succeed and you will overcome any barriers that stand in the way of that students’ success,” says Bruce Adin.

“The other lesson to be learnt from this project is that if teachers are given the resources and
the right help in terms of professional development, in this case from Gwenneth Phillips and Stuart McNaughton, then they can get results,” says Bruce Adin.

“It is also want to say that it is unrealistic for teachers to try and implement these types of programmes in classes that are too large. You can not do this sort of thing if you have 30 students in your class, you can if you have 15 to 20.”


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