'Biggest Loser' policy on literacy will not deliver long-term gains

Riddle, Stewart (2014) 'Biggest Loser' policy on literacy will not deliver long-term gains. The Conversation, 2 July 2014. pp. 1-3.

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Yesterday’s announcement of a $22 million grant for a Direct Instruction program - a direct method of teaching using lectures and demonstrations - to improve literacy outcomes for remote Indigenous children should be regarded with caution.

It seems like a bizarre kind of double-think that the government can abandon the Gonski funding model, which would have most helped disadvantaged students; cut $534 million in funding for Indigenous community health and education programs; and then turn around and claim that a sparkly new program will somehow 'fix' Indigenous literacy.

This program simply takes a 'Biggest Loser' approach to literacy teaching, by skilling and drilling students to the point of exhaustion, in order to get the most visible results possible (i.e. increased NAPLAN scores) in the shortest time. Just like the reality television weight-loss show, very little attention is given to long-term improvements and what happens beyond the immediacy of the program itself.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Articles in The Conversation are free to share or republish under Creative Commons. You must credit the publisher, and you can't edit our material or sell it separately.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2014 05:49
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2015 02:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indigenous literacy, direct instruction, Aboriginal education
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25802

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