Literacy intervention provision in Victorian primary education: an analysis of online data
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Joanne Quick
Literacy intervention programs are a common approach to improve children’s literacy achievement. A previous study (Rohl, Milton & Brady, 2000; Rohl & Milton, 2002) identified a range of literacy intervention programs offered across Australia, including Victoria. Contemporary Victorian education policies have shifted towards greater school choice in literacy intervention provision, suggesting that up to date research about schools’ use of these programs is timely. This article outlines and discusses an online data collection protocol for gathering information about literacy intervention use in Victorian primary education settings in 2014. Data on 150 schools’ intervention provision, together with their demographic and average reading achievement information, were gathered from schools’ websites, annual reports, and the My School website (ACARA, n.d., a). Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s chi-square tests were used to explore differences in reported literacy intervention offerings between schools from different sectors; and of differing enrolment sizes, and levels of socio-educational advantage and reading achievement. The results showed that literacy interventions were commonly offered across schools, with a range of programs identified. School sector showed a highly significant association, and enrolment size showed a moderate association; with whether or not schools offered one or more literacy interventions; but no significant associations were identified for either schools’ socio-educational status or mean reading achievement. Implications of these findings are discussed with reference to sector policies and research literature. The potential and challenges in utilising online data in educational research are also explored. This paper contributes recent empirical data on literacy intervention provision in Victoria and explores the utility of online data methodologies to answer questions about schools’ programs.