The researchers investigated the impact of a literacy intervention on reading and writing and the sustainability of the programme. Data on reading and writing achievement showed that while the latter was at national levels, the former was significantly below. It was concluded that the reading data collected by teachers were unreliable, and reading levels were probably comparable to writing levels.
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The researchers’ interviews of a sample of staff showed that after three years of using PAT, all staff could provide some examples of how they used the data, but some misunderstanding and reservations remained. Staff who had greater involvement in the analysis of the data were more confident in its use. The data have been used to make school-wide decisions about changes to timetabling and teaching programmes.
Nga Iwi’s commitment to forming educative partnerships between the school and its community led it to change how it reported to parents on their children’s achievement. Specifically, the school wanted to report on achievement more accurately while ensuring that parents could understand the reports. They also wanted to report the children’s achievement against an explicit standard agreed to by both the parents and the school. Further work is needed to ensure that the reports are well understood by parents.
A 1999 report showed that causes of delays in student achievement were more complex than the teachers had previously thought. One was the low expectations teachers had of the students. In an effort to raise student achievement, Viscount School offered the teachers in-house professional development in literacy, “tailor-made” to the needs of their staff. The results revealed gains in student achievement and confirmed the school’s decision to continue down this pathway.
East Tamaki School worked with researchers to learn about how teachers viewed the requirements on reporting to parents, and how parents understood what was written. Teachers experienced the same technical, ethical, and practical dilemmas as their local and international counterparts. They resolved these in ways that inadvertently sent mixed messages to parents about their children’s achievement.
Otahuhu College wanted to know how its teachers were coping with the inclusion of students with disabilities in their classrooms, and more specifically, how teachers interacted with such students. Results revealed that the practical demands of the classroom made it difficult for teachers to spend time with the mainstreamed students. Most relied on and supported teacher’s aides to teach these students.
Teachers engaging in “learning talk” analyse, critique and challenge their current teaching practices to find and/or create more effective ways of teaching. Using three New Zealand studies, this article examines the effectiveness of “learning talk” in facilitating changes in teacher practices and beliefs, and in student achievement. It addresses the challenges to this kind of talk, and explains the role of expert support in facilitating it.
Few studies have ever shown the improved results of an intervention project continuing after that programme has finished. Is it possible to achieve sustainability and what factors would contribute to it? This article looks at one programme that sustained gains and how it was done.