A literacy enrichment program for small rural schools
There is now general agreement about the disadvantages associated with all levels of 'rural' and 'remote' education. To some extent these are being overcome by advances in distance education delivery systems which now offer more interactive learning environments; yet there is still a strong case for the effectiveness of intense, individualised face-to-face teaching and learning. The project outlined in this report originated as an attempt to integrate the professional needs of third year Diploma of Teaching students at La Trobe D.C.N.V., Bendigo, with the curriculum needs of primary school children in an isolated rural setting. The Country Education Project, through Maureen Chiswell, a Project Officer, agreed to fund a pilot project where forty-nine Grade Five and Six primary school pupils from the Pyramid Hill area (Pyramid Hill Consolidated School and St. Patrick's School) were bussed ninety kilometres to the college for an intensive three-hour program once a week for five weeks. The program involved individualized instruction by third year students in literacy skills related to independent study and research, and curriculum studies in Science, Computer Studies and Mathematics. This paper reports on the aims, program details, and evaluation of the literacy component of the project. Miscue analysis refers to a method for monitoring a child's oral reading of a set of text. An observational inventory is an interview schedule for noting a child's reading and writing interests. An interactive journal is a written dialogue between child and teacher, and top-level structure refers to contrasting ways text information can be organised, such as cause and effect or main idea then supporting ideas.
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