Excellence and Equity in Literacy Education

The Case of New Zealand

  • William E. Tunmer
  • James W. Chapman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. The Development of New Zealand’s National Literacy Strategy

    1. William E. Tunmer, James W. Chapman
      Pages 1-20
  3. Evidence that New Zealand’s National Literacy Strategy Has Failed

  4. Factors Contributing to the Failure of New Zealand’s National Literacy Strategy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Claire J. McLachlan, Alison W. Arrow
      Pages 95-120
    3. William E. Tunmer, Keith T. Greaney, Jane E. Prochnow
      Pages 121-144
    4. Jane E. Prochnow, William E. Tunmer, Alison W. Arrow
      Pages 145-167
  5. Strategies for Reducing the Literacy Achievement Gap and Achieving Excellence and Equity in New Zealand Literacy Education

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-169
    2. Alison W. Arrow, James W. Chapman, Keith T. Greaney
      Pages 171-193
    3. Alison W. Arrow, Claire J. McLachlan, Keith T. Greaney
      Pages 194-213
    4. James W. Chapman, Jane E. Prochnow, Alison W. Arrow
      Pages 214-235
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 236-244

About this book


Literacy is arguably the most important goal of schooling as, to a large extent, it determines young children’s educational and life chances and is fundamental in achieving social justice. New Zealand’s literacy education programme has long been regarded as one of the world’s most successful approaches to teaching literacy skills to young children. Excellence and Equity in Literacy Education questions this widely held assumption. In the late 1990s the New Zealand government developed a national literacy strategy aimed at reducing persistently large inequities in literacy achievement outcomes. The chapters in this edited volume present evidence indicating that the national literacy strategy has failed, examine the major factors responsible for the continuation of New Zealand’s comparatively wide spread of scores in literacy achievement, and describe the most effective strategies for reducing the literacy achievement gap and achieving excellence and equity in New Zealand literacy education.


childhood children curriculum education intervention literacy

Editors and affiliations

  • William E. Tunmer
    • 1
  • James W. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of EducationMassey UniversityNew Zealand

Bibliographic information