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Empirical Validation of the First Steps Spelling and Writing Continua [microform]
Bib ID 5665589
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Australian Council for Educational Research, Victoria
Online Versions
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1993 
88 p. 

This is one of a series of reports that document the formative research that supported the development of the "First Steps" program designed to improve the literacy and numeracy of primary school students in Western Australia, particularly those considered at-risk. The four themes of First Steps (reading, writing, spelling, and oral language) are organized around a development continuum of milestones along the child's path to literacy. In First Steps, the teacher locates the child's place along the continuum for a skill, and works from that point. In 1992, the Western Australia Ministry of Education evaluated First Steps and its continua. This report evaluates the Spelling and Writing Continua and presents teacher responses to questionnaires sent as part of the evaluation. In all, 80 teachers of grades 1, 3, 5, and 7 completed questionnaires about First Steps spelling and writing and the ways in which their students fit the continua. Findings indicate a high level of understanding among the classroom teachers participating in this evaluation. The Writing Continuum was considered to depict the development of children's writing competencies validly, and the Spelling Continuum was also approved, with two problems often identified. Indicators in the Transitional Phase were not considered more difficult that those in the developmentally earlier Phonetic Phase, and indicators in the Phonetic Phase were generally thought to be less difficult than those in the earlier Semi-Phonetic Phase. The key indicators in both continua were approved, and teachers of Years 1 and 5, who were specifically questioned, regarded the First Steps continua as validly depicting the development of literacy in the children that they teach. Four appendixes provide questionnaire results for particular indicators and developmental phases, and a fifth appendix detailing all teacher responses is available on request. (Contains 25 exhibits and 4 references.) (SLD)


Sponsoring Agency: Western Australia Ministry of Education, Perth. Curriculum Development Branch.

ERIC Note: For related "First Steps" documents, see TM 028 166-170 and TM 028 176.

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Child Development.  |  Developmental Stages.  |  Elementary Education.  |  Elementary School Students.  |  Elementary School Teachers.  |  Foreign Countries.  |  High Risk Students.  |  Literacy.  |  Spelling.  |  Teacher Attitudes.  |  Writing (Composition)  |  Continuum Models First Steps Program (Australia)  |  Australia (Western Australia)
Form/genre Reports, Evaluative.
Other authors/contributors Australian Council for Educational Research, Victoria
Available From ERIC 


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