New Zealand School Implementation

2018 Action Research Inquiry

photo from Waihao Downs School

Beginning in 2011, the Davis Learning Strategies was implemented in ten separate primary schools in New Zealand. In 2018, Jane Severinsen (then the principal of one of the schools) completed an investigative study of the impact of the program on the reading achievement of children in those schools. As part of that study, she compiled data from all of the schools, and correlated data with the information about the level of implementation of the DLS program within each school.

The study specifically focused on the question, “What impact has the DLS intervention had on the reading achievement of targeted year 2-4 children who are/were working below curriculum expectations?

A review of the data showed:

  • All targeted students who participated in the Davis Learning Strategies made gains with their reading.
  • Individual school percentages ranged from between 45% – 91% of students who demonstrated accelerated progress in reading after Davis Reading Strategies over a 6-month period.
  • Overall, 65% (53/81) of the targeted students attained the expected curriculum reading benchmark (National Standard) within a 6-month period after participating in the Davis Learning Strategies programme
  • Schools with regular ongoing mentor support showed the highest rates of reading acceleration.
  • Schools that used all aspects of the DLS showed greater student acceleration than schools using only 1-2 of the Davis Learning Strategies
  • The positive impacts of the DLS self-regulation skills impacted not only student learning but also their ability to manage anxiety, frustration, or anger.
  • Teachers reported a positive impact on their own professional teaching practices in the classroom.