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Title: An investigation into the implementation and impact of literacy initiatives on disadvantaged primary schools in urban Ireland
Author: Farrell, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 3395
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: In 2005, a national initiative was launched in Ireland, supporting designated schools in disadvantaged areas, known as Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS). DEIS promotes national policy initiatives, with a major focus on increasing literacy levels, and diminishing the academic achievement gap of students in DEIS and non-DEIS schools. Purpose of Study: The study explored the process of implementation of new literacy initiatives in urban DEIS primary schools in Ireland. The study also examined the affect that literacy initiatives in DEIS schools had on educators through their engagement and professional development. The DEIS Initiative: The initiative supports DEIS schools to engage in school improvement, receiving additional financial support, extra teacher resources, after-school clubs and strategic planning support. DEIS primary schools implemented a suite of literacy initiatives, based on a phased delivery programme. Research Design: The research question was answered through a comparative multi-case- study approach. The study stemmed from an interpretative paradigm stance, rooted in the qualitative method, with the dominant instrument being semi-structured interviews. The learning experiences of nineteen educators in four urban DEIS primary schools and four DEIS advisors were collated. Other documentation, where available, supported and refined the triangulation of evidence. Findings: A theoretical 'Knowledge Productivity in Literacy Framework' emerged, encompassing a suite of three interconnecting components: infrastructure, professional learning and development, and stimulants for engagement. The study found that change needed to be (a) connected to the school's vision and self-authored targets, (b) driven by key leaders in the school (c) amended and reflected upon through an iterative process, and (d) effectively communicated. Conclusion: This research identified key components that impact school improvement, with an emphasis on knowledge production in literacy and its management. The study investigated practices that supported critical educators, with the potential to make knowledge production dynamic. On a national level, the study's findings can provide discussion opportunities for future literacy development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X320 Academic studies in Primary Education