Jeanne Biddulph

MNZM  MA (Cant.)  DipT

Jeanne has been a primary school teacher, reading adviser, and teacher educator in language/literacy at Christchurch College of Education and the University of Waikato. She is now an educational consultant.

  • As part of her Master's degree in 1982-83, Jeanne developed Reading Together®, a gold standard, research-based workshop programme which enables parents/whānau to provide more informed and effective support for their school-age children's reading.
  • In 1983, she developed Early Reading Together®, a workshop programme which helps families to support the language and literacy learning of younger children.
  • Jeanne was honoured in 1983 by the International Reading Association and the Canterbury Council of the International Reading Association for services in the promotion of Literacy, including the development and wider implementation of Reading Together®.
  • Throughout her career, Jeanne has made significant contributions to language/literacy education within New Zealand and beyond, and her work has been cited nationally and internationally. Her ongoing, voluntary contributions include helping school leaders, teachers, parents/whānau, librarians and community groups to work together to support children's language and literacy learning.
  • In 2011, at the request of Dr Pita Sharples (as Associate Minister of Education) the New Zealand Ministry of Education began a project to scale up the implementation of Reading Together® across decile 1-3 schools nationally. In Budget 2014 the New Zealand Government announced that the Reading Together® programme will "expand to include more than 140 decile 4 and 5 schools". Also in 2014, the Biddulph family organised a donation of mini-libraries to families completing the Reading Together® workshops in some schools. Approximately 30,000 families and more than 900 schools participated in the Reading Together® Project between 2012 and 2016 (for feedback about Reading Together® in some of the Project schools, please see Our Blog and the History of Reading Together® in New Zealand).
  • At the invitation of the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Education and Science Committee, Jeanne wrote a Submission to the 2013-14 Committee's Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children.
  • In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2017, Jeanne was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of her services to literacy education.
  • In Budget 2021, the New Zealand Government announced an Expansion of Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi Partnerships to "improve literacy and wellbeing outcomes for over 73,000 children across New Zealand by giving 37,000 parents effective strategies to support their children as they learn to read ...".
  • In November 2021, an Evaluation of Taonga mō ngā Tamariki (which is based on the Early Reading Together® and Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi programmes) was made available. Taonga mō ngā Tamariki is an intergenerational intervention designed to foster positive whānau-child interactions, provide access to books in home and heart languages and grow children’s enjoyment of reading.
  • In November 2022, the New Zealand Ministry of Education made available new evidence resources and links for support for Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi.
  • Jeanne has served on national advisory committees, and contributed to numerous seminars and conferences nationally and internationally.
  • She has a number of publications in literacy education, has co-authored 36 science books for primary school children (distributed internationally and published in a number of languages), and was a main author of The Complexity of Community and Family Influences on Children's Achievement in New Zealand: Best Evidence Synthesis, commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

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