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Reading Recovery

History and Development


History and Development

Reading Recovery Timeline
1976 - 1977 1978-81 1982 1983 1984 1989

1976-77 The Development Phase
During the period 1976-77 an extensive programme of research and development by Marie Clay and colleagues at the University of Auckland was undertaken. This research set out to explore the range and variability of reading and writing behaviours in six year old children having marked difficulty after a year at school. A set of teaching procedures for dealing with these difficulties evolved as a wide variety of techniques were piloted, discussed, modified and related to theories of literacy learning. Guided by local and global research, the teaching procedures have been under continual revision and modification since this time.

1978-81 The Field Trial Research and Replication
Field trials were run in five Auckland schools in 1978. These trials were very successful and replicated in 48 schools the following year. The accelerated rates of progress made by the children receiving the novel intervention quickly attracted the attention of senior educational administrators who supported the training of a further 50 Auckland teachers in 1980 and expansion to a second urban centre (Hamilton) in 1981.

1982 National Tutor Training
In 1982 the first National Tutor Training was held in Auckland with 15 Tutors trained. Tutors have continued to be trained at the National Reading Recovery Centre for New Zealand and overseas on an annual or biennial basis.

1983 National Implementation
A major move occurred in 1983 when Reading Recovery became available nationally, operating in each of the ten administrative districts in New Zealand.

1984 National Monitoring
In 1984 a national data collection and monitoring procedure was established by the then Department of Education, now the Ministry of Education. This national monitoring of programme delivery continues to be analysed and reported annually by the Ministry of Education.
(For current New Zealand data click here

1989 Trainer Training
The first training for Reading Recovery Trainers, the highest level of expertise in Reading Recovery was held in 1989. Trainers have been trained at the National Reading Recovery Centre for education systems around the world regularly since that time.


National Reading Recovery, 74 Epsom Ave, Auckland, New Zealand.