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MEP learning pack

Masters in Educational Practice: Literacy

9

Literacy intervention

9.1

Literacy intervention – introduction

In this topic you will consider the increasingly pertinent area of literacy intervention. In addition to research into the outcomes of specific interventions, there has also been some thought given to the teacher characteristics that are associated with the best learner outcomes. This has shown that the quality and skills of the teacher are much more important than the content of the intervention programmes. The greater the learner's difficulties the more skilled the teacher needs to be (Brooks, 2007).

In short, some educationalists would suggest that literacy intervention programmes are most effective and learners have the best chance of succeeding if the best literacy teachers are at the heart of intervention.

However, a recent study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation expands on the view of intervention and considers how attitudes can effect motivation and attainment. While the focus of the report is not literacy, it is worth considering the impact of expectation and aspiration. This summary of the report (external link) gives an overview of the views expressed in the report.

In summary, literacy intervention is an area of practice which most particularly needs an evidence-based approach. Practitioners will need to use the skills of criticality, reflection and accurate assessment to ensure that intervention is successful in the local context. Particularly, evidence needs to show that the learner is able to apply the skills of literacy learnt in the intervention programme to all aspects of the curriculum.

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