ERIC Number: ED446879
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
The Implementation of the Literacy Hour in Small Rural Schools.
Fisher, Ros; Lewis, Maureen; Davis, Bernie
Topic, n24 Aut 2000
Introduction of the National Literacy Strategy (NLS) into all English schools means that even teachers in small schools with mixed-age classes undertake a large amount of whole-class literacy teaching. The NLS promotes the use of specific teaching strategies during a carefully structured hour-long literacy session. Also, the framework of objectives for particular grades means that any whole-class work undertaken with a mixed-age class is, according to this framework, being delivered at a level inappropriate to some students. Since small elementary schools (having 100 or fewer students) are still a significant percentage of all schools in England and Wales, a study was conducted to determine how small schools are coping with the literacy hour. Twenty classrooms in small schools were observed over an 8-month period, and about 400 students were given standardized reading and writing tests at the beginning and end of the period. The teachers did not find the NLS as hard to implement as they had expected, although more difficulties were encountered in classes with more age groups. However, student progress on standardized tests did not differ by the number of age groups in the class, class size, or age position in the mixed-age class. Overall, the students made progress in literacy during the year; more progress was made in reading than writing; and classes with lower scores at the beginning of the year made the most progress. Teaching strategies used in the more successful classrooms are described, and specific suggestions are offered for implementing NLS in mixed-age classes. (SV)
Descriptors: Classroom Research, Classroom Techniques, Educational Change, Elementary Education, Elementary Schools, Foreign Countries, Group Instruction, Mixed Age Grouping, National Curriculum, Reading Achievement, Reading Instruction, Rural Schools, Small Schools, Teaching Methods, Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council, Lancaster (England).
Authoring Institution: National Foundation for Educational Research, Slough (England).
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)