Chapter 11 - But what if you start late?

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But what if you start late?


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are regarded very much as self-acting professionals, graduates of Colleges of Education which specialize in teacher training. Large blocks of all three-year teacher-training programs are also spent in practical hands-on school experience.
  Even the term national curriculum is probably a misnomer in that it suggests a French-style system where every year each child is learning the same set body of knowledge.
  "The new national curriculum doesn't tell teachers how to run their classes," reports American Teacher Magazine's Elizabeth Schulz, "but it does emphasize that schools are for the students and should be organized to give them access to the skills and understanding they need to participate effectively and productively in society. School learning is meant to be relevant. Class projects should illuminate for students the interconnectedness of subjects. And, whenever possible, students should be given choices and responsibility for their own education."13
  Four other factors play a big part in the country's highly successful catch-up programs:
  1. While New Zealand education is financed by central government and the funds are distributed to schools on the basis of roll-numbers, extra money is provided for schools in low-income areas or areas with special ethnic needs.
  2. The Ministry of Education funds a world-renowned Reading Recovery program in primary schools.
  3. Its Learning Media division also provides to all schools an out-standing selection of free material. This includes a Beginning School Mathematics program; a fast-paced, colorful Ready To Read series of beginner books; and a regular School Journal, which includes top-notch writing for children on a wide range of topics. These Journals have been published for years. All writing has been indexed for age groups and subjects. And that makes them ideal source-material for thematic study.
  4. Teachers are also encouraged to use their own initiative.
  Among the resulting breakthroughs:

The four-minute reading program
  Like many countries, New Zealand has a large number of migrant families for whom English is a second language. Not surprisingly, many


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