ERIC Number: ED418387
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Something Old, Something New: Issues Arising from the Implementation of a Holistic Literacy Program within an Urban School System.
Freidus, Helen; Grose, Claudia; McNamara, Margaret
This paper reports on the findings of Year 1 of a three-year project, funded by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, to study the implementation of the First Steps Literacy Program in a New England urban school district. The study is informed by theories of literacy that view reading, writing, and language as integrated components of a process; development in one area facilitates development in the others. Effective instruction is informed by ongoing assessment and provides opportunities for immersion, modeling, relevant feedback, diverse opportunities to use language in purposeful ways, and by current research on teacher development and curriculum change that view professional growth as situational and socially constructed. First Steps, originally developed in Australia, is a holistic, developmentally sequenced approach to literacy instruction designed to give teachers explicit ways of mapping children's progress through observation--it links assessment and instruction and creates a support system for ongoing professional development. The qualitative study focused on the nature and response to First Steps professional development. Observations were made in eight elementary schools implementing First Steps in the 1996-97 academic year; four schools were selected for case studies. Data were collected by surveys, focus groups, interviews, and observations. Data to date indicate that several professional development indicators appear to be present in the First Steps professional development model as implemented in Southtown. Moving into the second year, data indicate that First Steps personnel are rethinking their role and identifying new ways in which they can most effectively support teachers. (Contains 12 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: First Steps Program (Australia); New England; Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (Scottsdale, AZ, December 3-6, 1997).