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Issue #59
October, 2014

Literacy and Numeracy Interventions in the Early Years of Schooling: A Literature Review: Report to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Literacy and Numeracy

Source: Australian Council for Education Research (ACER)
Focus: Teachers

Summary: This review has analysed the research evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of a range of literacy and numeracy interventions in the early years of schooling, which is Kindergarten to Year 3. The term ‘literacy and numeracy interventions’ broadly referred to programs, strategies or initiatives currently implemented (or which could be implemented) by schools, education sectors and systems in order to improve student outcomes in literacy and numeracy. To supplement the analysis of evidence on specific interventions, the review has also examined the evidence for general principles in the design and delivery of effective literacy and numeracy interventions in the early years of schooling.

The review considered a wide range of academic literature (including peer -reviewed journal articles, conference reports, meta-analyses and research syntheses), program evaluations, and policy documents, as well as evidence provided by NSW education sectors on currently implemented interventions. Where the amount of research evidence related to a specific intervention was small, the review considered most or all available evidence. With other interventions, the research base was extensive and in these cases the review considered a selection of the most relevant evidence.

Mentoring Programs for Indigenous Youth – Australia – Closing the Gap

Source: Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian Institute of Family Studies. Resource sheet no. 22 produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Vicki-Ann Ware

Focus: Teachers

Summary: This Resource Sheet examines evidence for the effectiveness of mentoring programs in helping to set Indigenous young people at risk of engaging in antisocial and risky behaviours on healthier life pathways.

Mentoring is a relationship intervention strategy that research is showing can have powerful and lasting positive impacts on behavioural, academic and vocational outcomes for at-risk youth. Costello and Thomson (2011:1) describe youth mentoring as follows:

Youth mentoring is, according to the Australian Youth Mentoring Network, defined as ‘a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement’. The goal of youth mentoring is to enhance social engagement and thereby minimise negative behaviours through growth in social and developmental behaviours.

There are two types of mentoring styles found in the literature – natural and planned. Among Indigenous Australians, the natural or informal form of mentoring is often spontaneous through the Elders’ traditional role of sharing the wisdom, the knowledge and the spirit, which can draw Aboriginal people back to traditional ways. Elders play an extremely important role in Aboriginal families as role models, care providers and educators (Walker 1993).

This Resource Sheet focuses on the planned or formal form of mentoring, which often includes Elders as part of these programs.

New Journeys: Planting your Roots

Source: National Association of Friendship Centres

Summary: The New Journeys project began in 2011 when the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) received a small amount of financial support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) to identify mechanisms for assisting Aboriginal people in making successful transitions to urban environments. A literature review identified the need to create a resource that would assist Aboriginal people in planning their transition to the city in advance of their arrival, as well as those already living in the city that need help identifying programs and services.

In 2012, the NAFC received further funding to develop the New Journeys website, including a searchable database of programs and services for 119 urban centres across Canada, and three guides providing helpful information about making a safe and successful transition to urban environments. NAFC plans to continue adding resources over time with the goal of creating a comprehensive clearinghouse useful to both Aboriginal people and those who serve them.

Alluriarniq / Stepping Forward

Source: Supported by ArcticNet, this new research documentary from the UPEI Nunavut team is produced by the filmmaker Mark Sandiford. Partners in this research are the Coalition of Nunavut District Education Authorities and the Department of Education, Government of Nunavut.

Focus: Secondary Students

Summary: Nunavut youth between the ages of 17-25 from Kugluktuk, Rankin Inlet, and Pangnirtung, as well as students living in Ottawa, speak openly and honestly about their experiences in high school. These strong young Inuit share both the challenges and the opportunities education has provided. Perspectives are shared on the importance of Inuit culture, language loss, peer-pressure, experiences after leaving high school, teachers, post secondary education, as well as their hopes for the future.

Parent Easy Guides – Australia

SourceGovernment of South Australia

Summary: Parenting SA is an initiative of the Government of South Australia established in 1996 to promote the value of parents and the important role of parenting. Parenting SA is administered by the Women’s and Children’s Health Network and the Department for Education and Child Development.

Parent Easy Guides (or PEGs as they are affectionately known) bring simple, easy-to-read information on many of the issues faced by parents from birth through adolescence.

The PEGs are considered the “flagship” for Parenting SA and represent a valuable information source not only for parents and those caring for children, but also professionals. Parenting is powerful – it is not just about parents; it is shared by grandparents, relatives, friends and those who care for children. To shape and influence a child’s life is one of the most important things one can do.

Aboriginal PEGs

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