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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Early Literacy School Improvement: Research, Policy and Practice in Northern Canada

Julia O’Sullivan, Juanita Epp.

The complex Literacy issues that are the focus of school improvement initiatives World-wide have become the centre of an interwoven initiative including individually identified schools, a Faculty of Education and Canada's Centre of Excellence for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs.

This study of the interaction between and among the groups is based on the responses of teachers, teacher education students, administrators and includes an analysis of the effects of the initiatives on the children themselves.

The presentation will focus on the components of the interventions which include
(a) a Literacy Institute in which teacher candidates in their professional year are introduced to basic Literacy interventions
(b) A school based Language Arts course for teacher education students where strategies can be immediately applied to students in the schools.
(c) The inclusion of practicing teachers in the courses on literacy strategies
(d) The participation of teachers from Isolated and Native schools.
(e) The distance education initiatives to bring the institute to rural and Northern communities.


Julia O’Sullivan  (Canada)
Dean of Education

Lakehead University

Dr. O’Sullivan, Dean of Education, is also the National Director of Health Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs. Prior to coming to Lakehead in 1999, she was the co-founder and co-director of the Centre for the Application of Developmental Science in the Faculty of Science and a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Her professional career spans the academic and public arenas. Her research (funded by NSERC and the National Literacy Secretariat) on poverty and reading has achieved national and international recognition in the academic and public sectors. For 15 years she has worked with daycare centers, schools, community groups, and governments to develop educational services and policy for young children living in poverty.

Juanita Epp  (Canada)
Professor, Chair, Undergraduate Studies in Education
Faculty of Education
Lakehead University

Dr. Epp is currently a Professor and the Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Education at Lakehead University. Pulications include those in areas of Systemic Violence in Schools and Women in Educational Administration.

  • Teacher Education
  • Literacy Initiatives
  • Early Reading Strategies
  • Reading Institute

(30 min Conference Paper, English)