Reading with the Light Switched On

Steen Videbeck
26 November, 2021

New Zealand’s reading light has been dimming for some time.

International assessments show New Zealand’s reading performance has fallen, and that Māori and Pasifika students are particularly underserved.

Behind the statistics, our failure has a human face. Kids who label themselves as being ‘dumb’ because they are struggling to learn to read. Kids who withdraw from learning.

Despite the challenges, there are many reasons to be optimistic. A revolution in the way literacy is taught in New Zealand schools is underway.

Throughout the country, teachers and concerned parents have questioned the poor literacy rates among their children. Their questioning of the status quo has led them to an evidence-based approach called Structured Literacy.

Over the last year, I have seen many examples of outstanding teaching. Educators who have chosen to follow the science of reading. For these teachers, it was like the light had been switched on. And through their instruction, a light has also been switched on for the children they teach.

This report shares my personal journey. Hopefully it will provide motivation for teachers, principals, support staff, parents, politicians, and policymakers to start a journey of their own.

Click here to download the two-page summary of Reading with the Light Switched On.

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