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Title: Our children have a right to read! : increasing literacy skills in the early primary grades in developing contexts : a case study of a rights-based initiative in Cross River State, Nigeria
Author: Gittins, Louise Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 8924
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis adds to the sparse body of knowledge concerning how to increase early grade literacy levels in the Global South through evaluating how, if at all, a rights-based intervention has helped to do so in Cross River State, Nigeria. It presents a critical realist case study, containing a broad range of both quantitative and qualitative data, including insider-participant observations. Overall, it was found that this particular rights-based intervention produced significant and often large increases in pupils’ literacy skills, but that the extent of the impact varied according to the contextual conditions, again showing that context mattered. The key finding presented is that teachers have been fundamental to determining the impact, mainly because of how frequently they have been choosing to implement the intervention teaching method. The thesis postulates that the frequency of teachers’ implementation was determined by incentive mechanisms, a social reciprocity mechanism and an informal social control mechanism. Through identifying these social mechanisms, and through the mixed methods, insider-researcher methodology, the thesis is able to provide a deep understanding of incentives, motivations and relationships, and so how and why context mattered, adding to discussions on providing a “good-fit”. In doing so, the thesis highlights how the specific rights-based approach needs to now provide a greater merging of an outcomes and a processes approach. The thesis also contributes to scholarly debates concerning whether rights-based actors should be more processes or outcomes focused, whether they should be pushing for systematic reforms or working within systems and also whether a principal-agent approach will provide a good fit. It also makes important contributions to knowledge concerning the benefits and challenges associated with insider research, as well as how critical realist philosophical assumptions can help to generate the depth that is needed to truly understand how interventions are and are not effective.
Supervisor: Waldorf, Lars Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available