SPINSTER with a key

Three books ago I was reading SPINSTER by Sylvia Ashton Warner. (see link in column on right)

Written in 1958 (the year after I was born)it is the fictional account of a teacher who recognising that each person has their own personal key vocabulary is able to reach the Maori children in her school who previously had been dismissed as slow learners.

The book is based on Ashton Warnner’s own career as a teacher in New Zealand and the reading scheme described is her own highly successful method of teaching reading for which she became internationally known.

As well as fiction, she wrote two autobiographies, had a biography written about her and a film made about her life in 1986.


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