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University and School Partnerships: Literacy and Students with Additional Learning Needs


Title: University and School Partnerships: Literacy and Students with Additional Learning Needs Subject: Education Author: David Evans Last modified by – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: University and School Partnerships: Literacy and Students with Additional Learning Needs

University and School Partnerships Literacy and
Students with Additional Learning Needs
  • Future Directions Conference
  • September 3rd, 2010

David Evans PhD Associate Professor of Special
Education Criss Moore NSW Department of
Education and Training, Sydney Region
Historical Background
  • Childrens Centre
  • Need to change
  • University and School Partnership to
  • enhance learning outcomes for pre-service
    teachers for teaching reading through research
    and practice.
  • improve learning outcomes for students
    experiencing difficulties in learning to read

Historical Background
  • 1000 pre-service teachers have worked with a
    mentor to reflect, organise, and analyse
    knowledge their professional knowledge
  • 1000 children in schools experiencing
    difficulties in reading provided with 11

Presentation Aims
  • Highlight the benefits of a collaborative,
    school-based project for pre-service teachers in
    developing and enhancing their professional
    knowledge about quality literacy programs for
    students identified with additional learning
  • Reflect on the benefits for students with
    additional learning needs
  • Highlight the responses from schools and their
    communities to this collaborative program

What does research tells us?
  • Reading is an essential skill for success in our
  • In NSW 15 to 20 of students are two or more
    years behind at any one time (Commonwealth of
    Australia, 2005)
  • Students who are experiencing difficulties in
    learning to read in Year 4 will still be
    experiencing difficulties in Year 9 unless
    strategic intervention occurs (Juel, 1988)
  • Research has shown that programs to assist
    students catch up are unable to achieve this
    goal further research required (Vaughn et al.,

The Challenge
  • How do we ensure that all students succeed in
    learning to read by their fourth year of school -
    including Indigenous students, those from low
    socio-economic backgrounds and students who have
    disabilities (Melbourne Declaration, 2008)
  • To prepare pre-service teachers for teaching
    reading to students with language related
    learning difficulties, and those with unspecified
    reading problems (Commonwealth of Australian,
    2005 NSW Government, 2010a, 2010b)

Commonwealth Report
  • 34 Australian teacher educational institutions
    were surveyed and reported that
  • Less than 10 of time in compulsory units is
    devoted to preparing pre-service teachers to
    teach reading.
  • Less than 5 of total instructional time during
    pre-service teacher preparation is devoted to
    teaching reading (Commonwealth of Australia,
  • Further, pre-service teachers report
  • they are not well prepared to teach reading
  • even less prepared to address the needs of
    diverse learners (Rohl Greeves, 2005)

Research Recommendations
  • The teaching of reading requires teachers to have
    expert knowledge and practical skills for working
    effectively in the classroom (Snow et al., 2005)
  • Research provides recommendations for what to
    teach and the need for pre-service teachers to
    learn how to teach reading. Minimal research on
    how is available (Evans et al., 2006)

Research Recommendations
  • Can be achieved through field-based experiences,
    receiving regular feedback from an expert in the
    teaching of reading, and the opportunity to
    reflect (Darling- Hammond Hammerness, 2005)
  • Partnerships between schools and universities
    offer ideal opportunities for pre-service
    teachers to gain a comprehensive experience in
    research to practice while being mentored by
    experts (Dawkins et. al. 2009)
  • Problems in finding suitable placements in
    schools (Top of the class Report on the inquiry
    into teacher education, 2007)

Framework for Professional Learning
  • Teaching Reading (Snow et al., 2005)
  • Declarative knowledge
  • Able to recall knowledge about the teaching of
  • Situated, can do knowledge
  • Becoming cognizant of the differing big ideas of
  • Stable procedural knowledge
  • Aware of how this comes together to formulate
    procedural knowledge
  • Expert, adaptive knowledge
  • Sophisticated level of professional knowledge
  • Reflective, organised, analysed knowledge
  • Well versed in research, master teacher,
    responsible for learning professional development
    activities in school or department

Reading Components
  • Within a literacy framework
  • big ideas of reading were addressed
  • Phonological awareness
  • Alphabetic principle
  • Decoding fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Sight words
  • Text reading
  • including a modeled reading and explicit

University and School Partnership
  • Data Collection
  • Eight teachers who had been involved in the unit
    of study, volunteered to participate and were
    interviewed. The semi-structured interviews
    investigated the conceptual and procedural
    knowledge beyond pre-service teacher training in
    their role as classroom teachers.
  • Completed questionnaires investigating the
    knowledge and skills used when teaching reading

  • The Teachers
  • highlighted the value of linking theory to
  • valued having a highly skilled mentor to scaffold
    their in-school experience
  • were positive about the course overall
  • acknowledged the merging and interaction of the
    knowledge from this course and what was learned
    throughout their teacher training
  • described their current reading program as
    balanced and detailed the elements for reading
    and how they were integrated and inter-dependant
    on one another and
  • talked about interaction between decoding and
    comprehension strategies.

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  • Themes from the interviews
  • Value of being able to identify specific needs of
    students through assessment and designing focused
    reading programs
  • Having knowledge on how language disorder impacts
    on literacy learning and
  • Having the opportunity to discuss with peers and
    mentors strategies and skills for teaching

School Side of the Partnership
Feedback from a partner principal
  • Students learning to read
  • Excitement and Engagement
  • Examination of current practice through
  • and discussion
  • Whole school change in the teaching of literacy
    requested by experienced teachers

Take Home Message The Partnership between the
University of Sydney, Sydney Region Learning
Assistance Team and DET schools impacts on how
well pre-service teachers are prepared for
teaching our students how well students with
language disorders and reading difficulties
recieve additional assistance parents and
community members