Tag Archives: childhood literacy experiences

Literacy from Day 1

The New York Times reinforces the importance of reading to babies from the day they are born:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/us/pediatrics-group-to-recommend-reading-aloud-to-children-from-birth.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=US_PGT_20140624&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2

I value the point in the article – read to your babies –  but dismay set in as I read the end.  The suggestions it makes about low income families and radicalized families was unsettling, perhaps an even small analysis as to WHY the statistic are what they are would be helpful.

Low-income children are often exposed little to reading before entering formal child care settings. “We have had families who do not read to their children and where there are no books in the home,”

The undertone of the above statement does not sit well with me. While implicit, the message I read is that parents with low-income do not care to read to their children or do not know the value of doing so…  is it just me that reads the tone in this way?  It would be helpful to read about why that is: parents with low-income struggle to find the time to read to their children because they are working shift work, or 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, or have such intense stresses in their lives, or have difficulty affording books and are unable to get to libraries with ease… Is it a choice to read or not read to children? Or is the suggestion an imposition of wealthy class values? The realities of low-income versus wealthy families go beyond simple statements of what they do or not do.

 

What Influences How Teachers Teach?

Monica McGlynn-StewartAs a former elementary teacher, I (Monica) know that there are many things that influence how teachers teach in their classrooms. In our longitudinal study of teachers, Teacher change: patterns, factors, and implications for professional education, we have been learning from teachers about the kinds of formal and informal professional development that they find most relevant and helpful. One of the factors that intrigued me early on in the study was the influence that the teachers’ own early schooling had on their teaching. I interviewed 6 of our participants over the first three years of their teaching and discovered that they all use one or two teachers from their own childhood as role models for their teaching. My research has just been published in Language and Literacy: A Canadian e-Journal. Here’s the link: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/langandlit/article/view/20426/16419