$10 million boost for literacy education will upskill 70,000 children
An innovative research-based approach to how New Zealand children are taught to read is to be extended across the country with a $10 million Ministry of Education contract awarded to the University of Canterbury (UC).
New entrants at St Mary’s School, Mosgiel, Dunedin, learning to read using the Better Start Literacy Approach.
The $10m funding over the next two years will support the upskilling of approximately 5,000 teachers and literacy specialists through UC’s new micro-credential professional development qualifications.
Professors Gail Gillon and Brigid McNeill have led the development of the Better Start Literacy Approach over several years. The success of the approach in developing children’s oral language, early reading and writing ability has been proven through controlled research trials as part of the Better Start National Science Challenge “E Tipu E Rea.”
Professor Gillon welcomes the new funding saying it will help lift the literacy skills of more than 70,000 children by 2023.
“It’s very exciting to be able to extend the impact of our research into improving literacy outcomes for young tamariki right across New Zealand,” Professor Gillon, Director of the Child Well-being Research Institute, says.