Monday, June 02, 2008

An interesting study on the quintessential book flood... high hopes and then "oops"

Extensive reading in Malawi: inadequate implementation or inappropriate innovation?
Eddie Williams
Journal of Research in Reading
Volume 30 Issue 1 Page 59-79, February 2007

This article reports on the evaluation of an extensive reading programme in primary schools in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. The programme involved the delivery of book boxes at Years 4 and 5 to every Malawian primary school. Summative evaluation was achieved through baseline and project-end testing, with observations and interviews employed for illuminative purposes. A time-lapse design was employed, with testing in 1995 of Year 6 students (who had not had the programme in Years 4 and 5), and retesting in 1999 of Year 6 students in the same schools (who had had the programme in Years 4 and 5). Results unexpectedly showed a statistically significant decrease in mean score. The article explores deficiencies in programme implementation, but concludes that implementing educational innovations in Malawi requires sensitivity to the cultural-educational context. Furthermore, there is merit in Malawians radically questioning the appropriacy of innovations.

No comments: