Education theorists have noted the effect of home-based early intervention program, social-economical status, and learning environment on model oral language, creative play, and emergent literacy for school going children.
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Current intervention has advocated for reading discovery programs to parents, lower grade teachers, administrators, talent development teachers, and caregivers; with the new discovery, the focus of this paper is on leading change in a remote, on reserve, First Nation School called Sakastew School.
The intervention process will be addressed in relation to the implementation of reading recovery as an early intervention and the associated training for all grade 1-3 teachers, one grade 4 teacher, one resource teacher, and an administrator.
The intervention and the associated training will lay the foundation for continued partnership among teachers, school administrator, parents in the effort of strengthening social inclusiveness and emotional capital which are the foundations of healthy autonomy and life-long learning.
Reading Discovery is a home-based family literacy program that can be extended to low grade teachers focusing on language and emergent literacy acquisition in children; the intervention programs have offered quality results in marginalized rural groups. The pace of life as well as the social economic environment of marginalized population hinders aggressiveness to learning.
On the other hand, pupils are not prepared adequately to acquire high standards of learning. The programs focuses on encouraging social inclusion, healthy attachment and rich stimulatory experiences which help develop learning capability among low graders; research has shown that students who have had strong early childhood invention to facilitate learning enjoy reading and chances of success in education are high.
Enacting Reading Discovery among early grade teachers, administrators, and resources teachers is challenging as support from the school as well as the community will be sort for; again the program involves continuous training among the change agents (Ardzejewska & Coutts, 2004).
Sakastew School, a K-12 federally funded locally controlled school located in Pukatawagan, MB on the Mathais Colomb Cree Nation, has seen deteriorating education stands and hopes for change seems not forthcoming.
Background and literature review
Sakastew School is located in Northern Manitoba 210 kilometers north of the Pas and 819 kilometers northwest of Winnipeg. Literacy survey done by Statistics Canada 2007 shown that 69% of the current 2700 on reserve population, between the ages of 15 and 64, haven’t completed high school, compared to 34% of the overall Canadian Aboriginal population and 15% of the general Canadian population aged 25-64.
The above statistics clearly demonstrate that the school system has not met the needs of the previous school attendants and. The numbers are unsettling and speak to the critical need for meaningful and sustained educational change.
Sakastew School students have shown low performance on school based assessments and Wide Range Achievement Test results indicating that students are generally performing 2-3 years behind grade level.
This gap is evident as early as grade 1 on measures such as letter recognition, letter-sound relationships, basic sight words, and reading. The deteriorating state of education calls upon policy makers, administrators, teachers, and the community in general to look for a lasting solution for new enrollments in the school and probably seek any remedy to current students.
Education theorists have indicated that human learning and development is most rapid in the preschool going ages and at early grade level; timely invention that offers a child the chance to learn, concentrate, and comprehend issue at early age is crucial for middle and later years learning and understanding.
Early intervention programs are well documented, thought, and effectively implemented home-based and lower grade programs that assist teachers, parents, and caregivers establish learning pathways of children. The programs focus on Psychology of language, second language acquisition, learning methods, knowledge acquisition, and establishing difficulties that are likely to hider learning.
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The invention plays a crucial role in eliminating chances of disappointment, social isolation, added stress, frustration, and helplessness among children whose understanding capacity is low. When adopting the process, the intervention by teachers can be on one-on-one basis where those children who show low levels of understanding and whom have difficulties in learning are focused on in a class environment.
To ensure that the program has been affected correctly, lower graders teacher should be experts in the intervention as it calls for discovery of a problem, and seeking remedy to the said difficulty. Looking at the case of Sakastew School, the deteriorating state of the education in the school can be attributed to lack of professionalism among teachers for early inventions.
Pupils in the school seen not to be well prepared to learn; the effect of cultural environment and social economic environment that the children are brought up in seem to have had an effect on their level of learning; current school based and standardized tests indicate that as early as grade one, Sakastew School students are underperforming, and have been for many years, in all areas related to reading.
Reading Recovery is designed to dramatically reduce the number children with literacy difficulties in school. The intervention begins in grade one and focuses on programming for the children who are the lowest achieving without exception.
The core function of the program is to provide varied rich opportunities for language provision in context and can support and enhance effective acquisition of life-long learning and literacy development. The program focuses on ensuring hindrances of effective learning have been discovered and solution or remedy to the programs looked into.
Understanding of learning and children development is understood from socio-cultural and socio-economic situation perspective. It assists lower graders to understand the environment that a particular child has been brought up from and probably get intervention mechanisms that can develop the best teaching approach to the child.
Reading Recovery originated from extensive research and program development carried out by developmental psychologist, Marie Clay at the University of Auckland. Field trials were conducted in New Zealand in the 1976 and due to its initial success were introduced nationally in New Zealand by 1983.
Reading Recoveries ongoing success at helping struggling readers learn to read and extensive research that continues to support its effectiveness has contributed to the adoption of Reading Recovery globally. Reading Recovery was introduced in Canada in the late 1980s in the Southern and Eastern parts of Scarborough, Ontario and is now offered in many provinces across.
The situation experienced at Sakastew School triggers the need to develop a shared meaning for identity and learning-readiness in the lower grade education; teachers should be trained and facilitated to of early childhood intervention and how such programs can be enacted in the facility.
The program should ensure that attention skills of focused listening, sustained concentration and curiosity have been developed among children to facilitate them learn. Those students who seem to be weak in certain areas should be the focal point; the approach should ensure that the children are facilitated to learn and family and societal factors that might be limiting learning should be considered.
Action research approach to problem solving in schools has been borrowed from business fraternity; the method of improving education quality and enhancing proper learning focuses on planning and conducting of need analysis for schools.
The method seeks to identify a particular literacy issue likely to affect quality and delivery model of education; in the case of Sakastew School the literacy issue noted is low performance among children from low grade. The low performance is reflected later in the children’s further learning.
An action plan aims at interpolating the challenge facing a facility, conducting wide research review, and developing plan to carry out a collaborative change process to address the issue (MacNaughton, 2001).
The main reason for the research is to create an intervention policy that can improve the education standards at Sakastew School; to meet the above objective, the following research questions will be the guiding frameworks:
- What is the relationship between Reading Discovery and emergent literacy for preschool children and grade 1-3 pupils
- How can low grade teachers (grade 1 to 3), some grade 4 teachers, administrators and some resource teachers be used as change agents when adopting a reading discovery program? How do the interpretations of documentation relate to each other?
- How have cultural and contextual histories of early years educational environments affected Sakastew School education standards; how can Reading Discovery assist to improve the situation
The research will be both desk/library based and field data collection research; it will consist of a comparative analysis of pre-existing case study materials focusing implementing Reading Discovery and management approaches in order to try and analyze influencing factors and determine the impact of the strategies within different approaches.
The comparative analysis would involve a critical assessment of the structure, methodologies and implementation of Reading Discovery in different parts of the world and comparing the models adopted with the chances of similar models at Sakastew School. The case studies themselves have both empirical and theoretical content which will provide the necessary data for analysis and critique.
There will be discussion of current theoretical risk management techniques and approaches, as well as traditional models, to assess how Reading Discovery is utilized to improve education standards in marginalized areas.
In research terms the basis idea for an effective research methodology is to make use of conventional methodologies (these are methods based on advanced econometric models) and randomized experimentation to evaluate how Reading Discovery can be of lasting benefit to Sakastew School.
In the research, the researcher will generate econometric model to analyze the current situation as well as relate independent and dependent variable to offer a solution to the problem at hand. The econometric model will be used to develop an education production function for Sakastew School and relate the same with the preparedness (from early child intention if any) of children.
A randomized based survey will be used to gather information for comparison as well as provision of recommendations and enactment of the action plan; the baseline survey will be used to gauge, predict, and evaluate the impact of the program on performance rate.
The methodology to adopt will facilitate gathering of wide literature reviews and noting the strengths of successful similar projects in different parts; reasons for failure will also be noted so that when offering the final action plan, the research will have adjusted and considered for occurrence of such difficulties.
With the understanding of past performances, the research will collect data on the particular community and the school itself so that to devise an effective program that is accustomed to serve Sakastew School problem.
To collect primary data, open-ended questionnaires and interviews will be used to collect data from education scholars, Sakastew School old students, Sakastew School parents, current students, and the community in general.
The information collected will offer wide knowledge and understanding of how the environment is and how issues are handled. The schools management/administration will offer sound information regarding the management of the school as well as how the school prepares children for learning.
Data collection method
The time period in which any research interaction will take place will occur after the Sakastew School management and Pukatawagan have granted approval; the purpose of authority approval process is to ensure the ethical treatment and protection of human research participants and/or their records. Three data collection instruments will be used are secondary literature review, interviews and questionnaires
Other than literature review conducted to support the proposal, the research will review past interventions that have been made at Sakastew School in the efforts of improving its education quality and delivery standards. Focus will be on the reasons why the past actions had failed to ensure that similar mistakes will not be made in the Reading Discovery program.
Semi-structures and structured interview questionnaires will be used to collect information from target population; because of the cost element and the expected setbacks of using interviews, the research will limit it to a minimum of 40 interviews.
The interviewees will come from ministry of education in Pukatawagan (at least 10% of them), Sakastew School past and current administrators (at least 20% of them), Sakastew School past and current teachers (at least 20% of them), Sakastew School past and current parents, Sakastew School past and current students (at least 20% of them), and people who have been successful in education from the school (at least 5% of them).
Interviews will also be conducted with education gurus who have proposed the method and probably being actively involved in its implementation in similar situations ((at least 10% of them), finally at least 10% of the interviewees will be derived from schools in the region that have implemented similar programs (in the event such schools will not be found, then others from similar social, economical, and political background will be used).
The research will use questionnaires to collect information; the method will involve online and manual questionnaires that will be sent to specific people who are thought to have information. the people whom the questionnaires will target are School past and current parents, students, administrators, teachers, education management board of the region, education scholars, and schools that have implemented such programs effectively.
Care will be noted not to have an interviewed person fill questionnaire. Contact between the researcher and participants will be kept at a minimum. Participants will be given instructions with the instrument attached
. Participants will be instructed to complete the questionnaire and return it to the researcher’s e-mail address or to a mailing address provided. In completing the questionnaire, participants will be directed to respond to each item based on EI and job burnout measurements. Participants will be encouraged to complete and return their questionnaires within a specific time frame.
To maximize the return rate, telephone contact, face-to-face contact, and e-mail reminders will be employed. Those who choose to participate will proceed to complete the questionnaire online. Others may choose to print out and complete the questionnaire manually and send the completed form through interoffice mail, hand deliver the form, or send the form to the researcher’s post office box (Yin, 2003).
Following the steps adapted from at the preliminary stage an extensive literature review was conducted in order to determine how effective a Reading Discovery can be implemented Sakastew School at making use of journal articles, government websites, and articles in periodicals etc. This led to the formulation of the theoretical framework for the study which gave the structure to the study:
Figure 1: Research Design
Since the research is a qualitative research methodology approach, the data will be descriptive statistics (i.e., measures of central tendencies, measures of variability, and measures of relative standing) will be computed for each variable within the study.
Data collected will be analyzed using qualitative data analyzing tools; it will make use of computer programs like SPSS (statistical package of social sciences) and other qualitative data analysis methods. Analysis will ensure that only relevant data are subjected to the system; those data to the extreme will be trimmed when making analysis. It is from the analysis that final report with recommendations will be made.
This researcher will conduct a hypothesis test for multiple samples using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), comparing the significance value to.05 (Patton, 2002).
Significance and conclusion
The current state of Sakastew School is alarming with no much improvement expected; past interventions have failed calling upon the intervention of scientific education management approaches which focus on improving the state of education right from childhood. The action plan will be useful to the school as trained teachers and administrators will be the change agents at the school to improve education standards.
With an early intervention program and the associated training for all grade 1-3 teachers, one grade 4 teacher, one resource teacher, and an administrator, the school will be set for education improvement program that is much needed in the facility.
|January 2012||Draft Research Proposal||Research Team|
|February to April 2012|| ||Research Team|
|May – August, 2012||Stakeholders seminars |
One day for each
|September, 2012||Pre-testing instruments||Research Team|
|October, 2012|| ||3 Research Teams|
|November, 2012||Marking achievement tests||Markers supervised by research team|
|December 2012||Data entry, cleaning of data and data analysis||Data entry clerks|
|December, 2012 – January, 2013||Report writing||Research team|
|February, 2013||Report presentation||Research team|
|March, 2013||Presentation of report at reflective dialogue meeting||Research team|
Ardzejewska, K. & Coutts, P.M. (2004). Teachers who Support Reggio – Exploring their Understandings of the Philosophy. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 29(4), 17-23.
MacNaughton, G. (2001). Doing Early Childhood Research: International Perspectives on Theory and Practice. New York: Crows Nest.
Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.