ERIC Number: ED458621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Literacy Debates: What Are the Issues in New Zealand?
The 1970 International Educational Achievement (IEA) survey placed New Zealand's nine and fourteen year olds first in reading achievement in comparison with all other participating countries. Literacy educators the world over have studied New Zealand's methods and classroom environments, and its approaches to reading/writing instruction have been adopted in many countries. Reading Recovery, developed by Marie Clay in the 1970s, has become a key intervention program in Britain, Australia, and the United States. But the IEA survey of 1990 showed that New Zealand has slipped in ranking, and their children had the greatest difference between high achievers and low achievers. A 1996 adult literacy survey was also disappointing. Several factors have probably contributed to the changing literacy profile of New Zealand: the number of multiethnic children from backgrounds other than English has greatly increased; socioeconomic factors have led to polarization of wealth and living conditions; and curriculum demands on schools have increased both in diversity and content. Some have recommended that New Zealand adopt phonics programs instead of the natural language philosophy of literacy instruction. A Literacy Taskforce identified several issues affecting literacy instruction but did not recommend a major change. Central to a number of the recommendations was ongoing professional development for educators, focusing on effective use of teaching approaches, monitoring and assessment, and use of running records. The government set as its goal the enhanced reading and achievement of children in the first four years of schooling. Reading Recovery and Resource Teachers of Reading provide literacy intervention, and funds have been allocated to a pool to which schools can apply to establish programs to support at-risk learners. (NKA)
Descriptors: Comparative Education, Elementary Education, Foreign Countries, Instructional Effectiveness, Literacy, Professional Development, Reading Achievement, Reading Instruction
For full text: http://brs.leeds.ac.uk/.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: International Assn Evaluation Educ Achievement; New Zealand; Reading Recovery Projects
Note: Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference (University of Sussex at Brighton, September 2-5, 1999).