Date of Award

2008

Embargo Period

11-11-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (Honours) MEd (Hons)

Faculty

Education & Science

School

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Morey

Abstract

This study examined a School-Home partnership literacy improvement program, the Reading Adventure Pack (RAP), that aims to support the child's involvement in and attitude to reading, and involve the members of the family in the child's reading by supplying literacy material. The RAP is based on a theme, containing about five books and a variety of related activities, which promote the skills of literacy, similar to the 'Home Literacy Bags' developed by Barbour (1999). In particular the study explored the effectiveness of the RAP with students from Years K/Prep to 3 in New South Wales and Victoria. The study involved a pre-RAP child and carer questionnaire followed by the child's RAP experience and then a post-RAP child and carer questionnaire. The children borrowed the resource packs to take home on a weekly rotational basis. This continued until the children had experience with all of the sixteen different RAP packs. When RAP was returned the children shared their writing in the response journal with their peers. The child was asked the same fourteen questions on the pre-RAP and post-RAP questionnaire with an extra eight questions specific to the RAP experience included in the post-RAP questionnaire.

The questionnaires revealed that the home environment, in the majority of oases, was extremely limited in terms of appropriate reading resources for children of this age, that the mother was the carer most involved in literacy development of the younger child in the home and the father was more likely to be somewhat involved with the older child in the home. The carers reported that they enjoyed working with RAP, and indicated that RAP, from their perspective, had a positive effect on their child's attitude to reading. The children's questionnaires revealed positive attitudes towards the RAP and that the RAP experience had increased the child's willingness to explore different literacy genres and had increased their involvement in and attitude to reading. It was noticed, however, that the impact of the RAP experience was not consistent across the age groupings or between the male and female students. The RAP experience had the greatest impact on the seven and eight year old female and eight year old male children.

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