Recognition of family engagement in young children’s literacy learning

Linda Newman
The University of Newcastle

Leonie Arthur
Kerry Staples
Christine Woodrow
Western Sydney University

This paper challenges deficit assumptions about families in poor and socially marginalised communities who are often presumed to be providing inadequate language and literacy experiences for their children. We present data that show how families in a low socioeconomic community in northern Chile understand the importance of learning in the early years and provide a range of experiences at home to support their children’s literacy learning. The data demonstrates the potential of sociocultural literacy pedagogies to form a basis for literacy learning partnerships which are currently under-utilised by educators working with poor and/or socially excluded families. We suggest that educators’ increased recognition of how children develop understandings of literacy through their participation in family and community activities may strengthen the foundations for productive educator–family relationships.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 1 March 2016

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