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Child-Centred Teaching: Helping Each Child to Reach Their Full Potential

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-01, 00:00 authored by Maria NicholasMaria Nicholas, Liz RouseLiz Rouse, Louise PaatschLouise Paatsch
Research has shown that schoolteachers often prepare children for success in standardized reading assessments by ‘teaching to the test.’ Concurrently, research exploring children’s emergent literacies and ‘school readiness’ has shown that early childhood teachers often feel pressured to ‘prepare’ children for school and may do so by focusing on print-related literacies, to the detriment of earlier stages of the oral-to-print continuum. This raises the concern that teaching children as a group, preparing them for the next ‘stage of education,’ will disadvantage children who are working
below or above expected levels of development. Our study explores the teaching approaches used with a group of foundation-year children who achieved more advanced reading outcomes than children from four adjacent classrooms in their first year of schooling. We collected the reading and letter-identification outcomes of 16 children in the teacher’s foundation-year class and interviewed her about her practices. Findings showed that the teacher used her knowledge of what the children
should achieve in standardized assessments as a minimum expectation and moved beyond the content of such assessments when warranted, as determined by informal assessments. As a result, every child in the class met, and many exceeded, minimum reading standards by year’s end. We conclude that using an individualized, child-centred pedagogy, informed by a combination of
standardized and informal assessments, allowed the teacher to support her students to develop a range of reading abilities and to reach their full potential.



Education Sciences






280 - 280




Basel, Switzerland





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal