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Fogarty researchers reach out to the remote

Monday, 13 February 2017

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As part of a $25 million initiative funded by Royalties for Regions, researchers from the Fogarty Learning Centre have developed a schedule of fine-grained student assessment, curriculum materials, and an integrated professional learning and instructional coaching program to support the targeted teaching of reading and mathematics in remote schools in the Kimberley region.

Associate Professor Deslea Konza, Dr Susan Main and Dr Lorraine Hammond developed the literacy component, which drew upon their research in Kimberley remote regions and Perth metropolitan schools. The mathematics component was created by Dr Paula Mildenhall and Dr John West, and includes assessment materials developed previously within the School of Education. Dr Lorraine Hammond also drew on her recent research into instructional coaching to provide the model that will support teachers to embed targeted teaching strategies into their daily literacy and numeracy instruction. An important member of the team was Dr Susan Hill, who coordinated team members’ contributions, ensured their strict alignment with the overall project guidelines, and integrated the different components into one coherent document.

The program incorporates teaching sequences, sample lesson plans and checklists that are consistent with an explicit teaching approach, and guidelines for monitoring procedures to track student progress on a lesson by lesson basis. There are strong emphases on fidelity of program implementation, support for school leaders and teachers, and the collection and analysis of rigorous data on teacher practice and student achievement.

The ECU team will be working with a Broome-based Support Unit in the phased introduction of the program into 22 schools across the three education sectors. The aim is to accelerate the progress of Kimberley students in these core curriculum areas, and achieve national parity on NAPLAN assessments within ten years.

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