Reading Recovery conf 2011 Toronto

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The role of readng recovery program to up;ift disadvantaged children to their more advantaqged peers

The role of readng recovery program to up;ift disadvantaged children to their more advantaqged peers

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  • 1. READING RECOVERY: A SOCIAL JUSTICE INTERVENTION A presentation at the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery January 24 2011 Sheraton Parkway Hotel, Richmond Hill, Ontario Dr Jerry Diakiw York University [email_address]
  • 2.
    • MY name is Jerry Diakiw and I am a reading recovery addict. Let me tell you how I became an addict.
    • I am a high school geography teacher at heart but as a school superintendent I applied my passion for social justice and equity issues and an emerging passion for literacy across all grades and subjects. Each of you know more about Reading Recovery than I will ever know, but I bring to you my passion and proof, for the long term benefits Reading Recovery can bring to our society through narrowing the gap further between the children from the well to do, and those who struggle in our society. I commend and salute you for the work you do. There is not a more important role in education at the moment for me than the reading recovery teacher. Bravo!
  • 3. Let me begin at the beginning
    • Read aloud the day of Ahmed’s Secret
    • This 10 year old Egyptian boy discovers how to write his name and he is anxious to share it with his family after his day’s work delivering propane tanks around the city .This is book celebrating the act of breaking the code but condemned by the Egyptian government. . .. Why use it then?
  • 4.  
  • 5. MEMORIES
    • WHAT ARE YOUR EARLIEST MEMORIES OF WRITING YOUR NAME?
    • WHAT ARE YOUR EARLIEST MEMORIES OF LEARNING TO READ?
  • 6. BREAKING THE CODE
    • Alberta Manguel calls learning to read, “the most human of creative acts”
    • Empire of  the Word,  TVO, Dec 3 2009
    • “ Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. ”  
    • - Frederick Douglass
  • 7. Why Use Ahmed?
    • Unlocking the literary code is like magic. It opens us up to the whole world, over all of written time. Whether through J.K. Rowling, Eric Carle or Aristotle.
    • While this book is a powerful reminder of the act , or magic of unlocking the code, it is a controversial book as it portrays a 10 year old child delivering propane gas bottles around Cairo to support his family in a Cairo that appears positively mediaeval. The book portrays Cairo in the 1990’s. As luscious is the depiction of the colorful caravan, and poetic language, there hasn’t been a camel caravan in the city for over a hundred years. Egypt is proud of the fact they have compulsory schooling till the age of 15. Yet the American author and illustrator portray a romanticized and exoticized picture of this young 10 year boy and his city. Despite these failings, it does portray a happy Islamic family and a positive image of a friendly city. A nice contrast to the Islamophobic portrayal of the Middle East and its people in the media. We can celebrate its strength, and interrogate and learn from its failings with an appropriate age group.
  • 8. Cairo in the 1990 compared to Ahmed’s authors depiction. Egypt’s compulsory schooling till 15 compared to Ahmed’s 10 year old life on the street
  • 9. Apart for celebrating the act of literacy in Ahmed’s secret with its beautiful writing, and exquisite watercolors, it provides an opportunity to interrogate the text and create a rich discussion around social justice issues, values, and personal concerns
    • As Katherine Patterson writes:
    • “ It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own. ”  
  • 10. MY Awakenings to the Power of Literacy
    • Early childhood as an ELL-absence of any literacy in the home illiterate parents–43 and 44 out of 44 students in grade 6 on reading and writing
    • As a high school geography teacher I had a number of epiphanies
    • -Grade 10 geography class stunned watching one student reading with finger one word at a time. I had no idea what to do! (I wish I could do it over again now)
    • -Geography textbooks –Gave up textbooks and moved to novels
    • E.g.. Nectar in the Sieve, for India, Caravans for Middle east
    • -Roberts plan– general level credits introduced and the credit system – The big boom! -colleges– suddenly more lower achieving students in schools than ever before and they needed a different kind of teaching.
  • 11. AWAKENINGS CONTINUED
    • 15 Language development concerns across the Board a prioity for 5 years. 1988 to 1993
    • Lucy McCormick Caulkins, Marie Clay, James Britton, Nancy Atwell, Donald Graves came to town ,as we implemented language across the curriculum--My war cries! Reading and writing float on a sea of talk( James Britton), How do I know what I think until I see what I write. (E.M.Forster): Understanding is at the point of utterance ; it takes two to read a book( Atwell); the writer only writes half the book.
  • 12. FURTHER AWAKENINGS AND EUREKAS
    • Globally: UNICEF MANTRA - a literate mother never has illiterate children . .
    • Greg Mortensen and rebuilding schools for girls, my charity of choice
    • Ypsilanti study –—for every dollar spent on Head start saved 6$, down the road -- unemployment , welfare, teen pregnancies police, drugs, crime, courts, prisons.
    • The same argument can be made for reading recovery
  • 13. More EUREKAS
    • Bristol Study , Gordon Wells and Jan Wells
    • Children of all classes with mics turned on randomly from age two till primary school and their conversations transcribed. One startling conclusion was there was no difference in the oral development between high and low SES, BUT when they entered school, high SES children sped ahead. In homes with books and read aloud and travel and museums high SES kids had picked up story codes:
    • Once upon a time . . . Far away in ancient Rome
    • Long ago in oriental Japan
    • “ Storying” in the home gave them the advantage of book culture in school. They came to school with literary capital to spend, and went to bank with it.
  • 14. FINAL EUREKA
    • But a High School Drop out Prevention conference led me to Reading Recovery
    • An obsessive preoccupation with lowering the drop out rate.
  • 15. RR: WHERE IT ALL STARTED--DROPOUTS!
    • While great strides have been made there is still a problem. Toronto Case Study based on 2009 Census study
    • Drop out rates 2009 TDSB
    • 84% of students who took a majority of academic courses in Grades 9-10 graduated. DROP OUT RATE 16%
    • BUT. . . . 56% of students who took a majority of applied courses dropped out!
    • 67% of students taking a majority of locally-developed courses dropped out.
  • 16. DROPOUTS BY ETHNICITY
    • The average dropout rate is about 23% ,
    • Students who speak Portuguese it is 42.5 %,
    • Those who speak Spanish 39.1 %,
    • Somali 36.7% .
    • Students born in the English speaking Caribbean 40% ,
    • Unacceptable!
  • 17. DROP OUT RATES BY NEIGHBOURHOOD
    • in poor neighbourhoods only 57 % of students graduated
    • 84% graduation rate in students from more affluent neighbourhoods .
    • dropout rate in the poor neighbourhoods was 33% ,
    • 3X in rich neighbourhoods (11%)
  • 18. HOW I Became a Reading Recovery Addict
    • High school administrator conference put on by the MOE on drop out prevention strategies
    • Of dozens of sessions I was attracted to one simply called” Grade one Reading Recovery”
    • I was puzzled, but fascinated. It blew me away!
    • For a full story see my memoir entitled:
      • “ Reading Recovery: A social justice intervention
      • Birth, demise and rebirth of an Idea, A personal memoir ”
      • go to:: http://blogs.yufe.ca/jdiakiw/2010/11/17/reading-recovery-a-social-justice-intervention/
  • 19. WHO ARE THESE DROPOUTS? FAMILY INCOME AND LITERACY ACHIEVEMENT LET US GO BACK TO EARLIER DATA
    • 2008 EQAO Grade 3/6 Reading Writing, Results by Family Income TDSB
    • Grade 3 Grade 6 ( reaching Level 3 or 4) ( reaching Level 3 or 4)
    • Reading Writing Reading Writing
    • $100,000+ 66% 67% 86% 85%
    • $75K - $99 64% 69% 76% 78%
    • $50K - $75 63% 68% 73% 77%
    • $30K- $60K 58% 67% 65% 71%
    • - $30,000 47% 58% 55% 62%
  • 20. EQAO and POVERTY
    • How did we get here? TDSB: A CASE STUDY This most powerful preceding chart shows the huge discrepancies between children from high income families and low ones 20-30% diff. and the correlation is precise over the 5 categories of income and , the numbers get wider moving from grade 3- 6. A 30% difference on average! Unacceptable in our society! WHY?
  • 21. Affects of Poverty
    • Children living in poverty are at higher risk of a variety of health problems, developmental delays, and behaviour disorders. They clearly attain lower levels of education, and studies show they will likely live in poverty as adults.
  • 22. What to do
    • Debilitating effects of child poverty –
    • 12 % in Canada , ( 16% two years ago in TO. . . Now?) In 1989 our government promised to eliminate child poverty by 2000. . . . .it is still 12%
    • in the USA over 21% child poverty rate
    • and in Finland 4% They outperformed Canada on PISA. . . A correlation between child poverty rate only or a causality?
  • 23. WHO ARE THE FAMILIES WITH UNDER $30,000 FAMILY INCOME?
    • I ARGUE CHILDREN THAT THESE FAMILIES IN PARTICULAR ARE READING RECOVERY TARGET GROUP IN GRADE ONE
    • WHO ARE THEY, BESIDES BEING POOR?
  • 24. Who is in that low income -$30,000 group? They are largely foreign born 1. Parents born outside Canada
    • White 21&
    • Black 82%
    • East Asian 92%
    • Lat American 93%
    • SE Asian 95%
    • Mid eastern 97%
    • South Asian 96%
  • 25. Language spoken in the Home They are disproportionately non english speakers
    • 43% English first language learned
    • 41% speak another first language
    • 43 % speak English plus another
    • 33% speak only another language at home
  • 26. Racial background
    • 33% white
    • 19% South Asian
    • 20% East Asian
    • 12% Black `
    • 5% Mid Eastern
    • 3% South East Asian
    • 2% Lat American
  • 27. University Education by Race They are less educated than dominant grouips
    • White 68%
    • East Asian 57%
    • Eastern 53 %
    • Aboriginal 24%
    • Black 22%
  • 28. Income by education
    • +$100,000 -$30,000
    • University 37% 16%
    • College 9% 28%
    • High school 3% 47%
    • None 3% 64%
    • LICO $34,500 GTA area family of 4
  • 29. Income by Race They are largely from low income groups
    • +$100,000 -$30,000
    • White 52 9
    • East Asian 13 28
    • South Asian 4 37
    • Black 4 45
    • Middle Eastern 4 55
  • 30. Single parent at home by race They disproportionately come from single parent families
    • White 12%
    • South Asian 19%
    • Black 39%
    • Aboriginal 53% (plus 9 % none)
  • 31. EQAO RESULTS BY RACE Grade 3 Level3/4 Grads 6 Level 3/4 Reading Writing Reading Writing East Asian 68% 74% 78% 83% White 60% 60% 76% 75% South Asian 60% 71% 68% 74% S/EAsian 55% 65% 69% 77% MiddleEast 40% 55% 55% 57% Lat/Am 37% 47% 51% 55% Black18 43% 51% 47% 55%
  • 32. DANGER OF GENERALIZATION
    • “ The biggest discrepancies are among different racial groups, followed by income groups. one should be cautioned against generalizing about groups of students, as there are high achieving students in all groups”
    • E.g. single parents are not the problem, many Latino and Black students at university. . . .but
  • 33. EQAO Grade 3/6 Reading, Writing, Gender
    • Grade 3 ( Level 3 or 4) Grade 6 ( Level 3 or 4)
    • Reading Writing Reading Writing
    • Female 63% 71% 70% 75%
    • Male 52% 57% 57% 58%
  • 34. In summary, Who are they? What hurdles do their children face in becoming literate
    • Family income below $30,000
    • Over 85 % born outside Canada
    • New immigrants
    • 43 % have another first language
    • Disproportionate families single mothers
      • eg 40 % of Black families
    • Largely visible minority families
    • Low levels of parental education
    • Parents in high numbers favour breakfast and lunch programs
    • Disproportionately boys
  • 35. COSTS OF POVERTY
    • “ Poverty is such an enormous negative influence, that it must be part of the educational reform agenda whether justified on grounds of economic interest or of social justice”
    • Ben Levin
  • 36. READING RECOVERY TARGET GROUPS IN GRADE ONE
    • This pattern of low income, coupled with all the other hurdles, applied layer upon layer, upon layer of difficulties to overcome provides a population of students who have the greatest possibility of being lagging grade one readers. We must meet the needs of these children through reading recovery
  • 37. Conversely who goes to College and University?
    • Parental Income
    • Family Income
    • HS School marks, attitude, literacy,
    • (Ross Finnie study)
  • 38. POST SECONDARY EDUCATION BY PROVINCE ( AND URBAN /RURAL)
  • 39.  
  • 40.  
  • 41. PISA and PSE attendance
  • 42. The above charts show the power of parental education and parental income on who goes to college and Finnie proves parental education is a greater factor than family income for Post secondary participation, but when other variable are introduced. . . PISA reading scores are the best predictor
    • READING SCORE BEST PREDICTOR OF WHO WILL GO TO UNVERSITY
    • “ The largest determinant of university participation however, is the score on the reading portion of the PISA.” Finnie and Mueller 2009
  • 43. LITERACY AND LOW SES
    • Empirical Support for the Role of Engaged Reading
    • Drawing on both the 1998 NAEP data from the United States
    • and the results of the PISA study of reading achievement in
    • international contexts, Guthrie (2004, p. 5) notes that students
    • “… whose family background was characterized by low income and
    • low education, but who were highly engaged readers,
    • substantially outscored students who came from backgrounds
    • with higher education and higher income, but who themselves
    • were less engaged readers . Based on a massive sample, this
    • finding suggests the stunning conclusion that engaged reading can overcome traditional barriers to reading achievement, including gender, parental education, and income.”
  • 44. PISA: Reading Engagement
    • For example, data on the reading attainment of 15-year olds in almost 30 countries showed that “the level of a student’s reading engagement is a better predictor of literacy performance than his or her socioeconomic background, indicating that cultivating a student’s interest in reading can help overcome home disadvantages” (OECD, 2004, p. 8)
  • 45. How are we doing?
    • Teachers however in Canada have made a difference. Focus on literacy, RR and quality of teachers.
    • We have the best teachers , drawing applicants from the top third of graduates, compared to those from the bottom third in the UK and USA.
    • Rank in the top 3 countries in the world on PISA scores in reading
    • Canada narrowest gap in achievement between low SES and high SES students. . Stunning!
    • Despite the fact that high immigration countries do not do as well as uni-cultural ones
    • Private vs public school perform the same for same SES.
    • Highest percentage of students in colleges and universities of any country in the world
  • 46. “ Non-reading children are the greatest problem in American education. ”   - Glenn Doman, “
  • 47. How do we solve this continuing gap
    • WHAT GOVERNMENTS CAN DO
    • Reduce child poverty as promised in 1989
    • 2.Continue to attract the best and the brightest into teaching
    • 3. Early childhood education
  • 48. WHAT YOU CAN DO . . are doing
    • 1. Greater Focus on literacy
    • 2. Reading Recovery in all grade 1 classes across the country
    • 3. Reading recovery model K-8 across all schools
  • 49. THE THIRD WAVE
    • A need to have Reading recovery teachers to play a larger role
    • Our most expert, our best trained teachers on staff need to have a wider impact.
    • RR teachers as principal consiglieris-- partners in distributive leadership.
    • Training parent volunteers in running records, guided observation and programming ; facilitating booster programs ; active on school improvement committees.
    • working and training K_6 teachers
  • 50. As David Moriarty puts it: “ Reading Recovery steps into a child’s life at a critical time – before the cycle of failure begins. It remains world wide as an example of the most powerful, effective staff development program available, yielding the best trained teachers of reading in their districts, and compared to other programs that go on for years and never get children reading on grade level, Reading Recovery is a bargain.”(North American Reading Recovery Institute website)
  • 51. READING RECOVERY RULES!
    • While we are doing better in literacy than anyone else in the world on many criteria we have a long way to go and Reading Recovery can and will better meet the needs of disadvantaged children. Those skills, that expertise of the RR teacher needs to spread throughout the school.
    • I commend you for the important work you have done and are doing