Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Perth, Western Australia
In Teachers' Hands was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training under the Grants for National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects Programme.
Aim and Methods
The aim of this study was to identify teaching practices that lead to improved literacy outcomes for children in the early years of schooling.
The study began with literacy assessments of a representative national sample of 2,000 children using a literacy scale prepared by the Australian Council for Educational Research for the Longitudinal Literacy and Numeracy Study (LLANS). Assessments were caried out by 200 classroom teachers, half of whom were teaching in the first year of formal schooling and half of whom were teaching in the second year of formal schooling. A random sample of ten children from each class completed the one-on-one individual assessments of letter recognition, word recognition, phonological awareness and receptive comprehension at the beginning and again at the end of the 2001 school year.
Value Added Analysis
Subsequently, a 'value added' analysis was undertaken, comparing the mean growth over a school year in LLANS literacy scores for each group of ten children. In order to link estimates of growth in student achievement with teacher behaviour in each of the class groups, a schedule of school visits was arranged. The teachers approached to participate in the classroom observation phase of the study were selected on the basis that the mean standardised residual for their group of ten children assessed in the previous year was significantly more than expected, as expected, or less than expected...
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