Sutherland A, Gardner J & Meenan-Strain C (1996) Reading Recovery in Northern Ireland: the First Two Years. Making Belfast Work Initiative.
This report sets out the findings from an evaluation of the first two years of the introduction of the Reading Recovery programme to Northern Ireland schools. It details the early stages of what has now become a Province-wide initiative but which at the time of the study was a major innovation in only two of the educational and library board areas. The evaluation was concerned with the implementation of the project and its impact on the pupils, teachers and schools involved.
After an overview of the findings, Part 1 of the main report provides a context for the evaluation and brief details about its design. The two main parts, Part 2 and Part 3, present the findings from the parallel studies, which used qualitative and quantitative methods respectively. Part 2 addresses the overarching question: ‘How is Reading Recovery being implemented in Northern Ireland?' while Part 3 compares the progress of Reading Recovery pupils with that of other groups of pupils.
The overwhelming perception of those involved in the initiative was that Reading Recovery is a valuable addition to a school's activities, not only because of its benefits for individual pupils but also because of its potential influence on the teaching methods of the teachers and on the schools' policies and practices in early years' education. The quantitative aspects of the study show that a typical pupil completing the programme might well remain in the lower half of the class but still be able to access the mainstream activities of the class. However, the results do suggest that in this early stage of the initiative's development, the gains made by pupils may be less than those reported in certain other studies, and for some pupils may not be as long lasting. These and other important issues are addressed in the report.
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