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Literacy events in toddler groups: Preschool educators' talk about their work with literacy among toddlers
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Preschool Education Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6100-6201
2015 (English)In: Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, ISSN 1468-7984, E-ISSN 1741-2919, Vol. 15, no 3, 311-330 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study originates in an interest in toddlers' spontaneous literacy activities and Swedish preschool practice. The curriculum for Swedish preschool (National Agency for Education, 2011b) clearly states that preschools should work on the basis of a holistic view of the child and that activities should be both enjoyable and based on toddlers' experiences, play and desire to learn. Because the curriculum can be interpreted in a number of different ways, it is important to highlight how tasks in preschool, specifically those directed at written language, are realized in practice. Hence, the aim of this article is to explore educators' talk about their work with written language within an early childhood literacy frame. The study is seen from a social constructionist perspective, and the analysis is based on focus group interviews with ten preschool educator teams on two separate occasions for each. Two themes are identified as being clearly displayed in the educators’ talk about toddlers' literacy: The first theme is doing literacy: toddlers' bodily and material manifestations. The second theme covers the educators' educational manner and the educators' construction of literacy: a playful and material approach based on values and traditions. Finally, these themes are discussed in relation to the educators' professional language, concrete and contextual literacy events, material aspects and a view of toddlers as literate persons in their own right. Hence, the study contributes to a wider discussion about toddlers' everyday activities and interest in written language. In addition, the study makes the suggestion that, in order for work with literacy among toddlers to be based on the child, professional language which highlights toddlers' ways of expression from a broad perspective of what it is to be literate, is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, no 3, 311-330 p.
Keyword [en]
Early childhood education and care, early childhood literacy, preschool, preschool
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25437DOI: 10.1177/1468798414526427Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84938676757OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25437DiVA: diva2:774890
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721-2008-5565
Available from: 2014-12-29 Created: 2014-12-29 Last updated: 2016-03-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Små barns tecken- och meningsskapande i förskola: Multimodalt görande och teknologi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Små barns tecken- och meningsskapande i förskola: Multimodalt görande och teknologi
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Young children’s sign- and meaning making processes in preschool : Exploring multimodal language and interactions with technology
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores how activities that young children are engaged in within the preschool environment, can be understood in terms of early language and literacy processes. The overall aim is to construct knowledge about young children’s spontaneous sign processes as well as meaning making and early literacy processes in preschool. A wider aim is to contribute to the theoretical understanding of young children’s multimodal use of language. More specifically, there is an interest to show how preschool educators describe and analyse young children’s literacy and how young children construct language in interaction with other children and technology. The overall theoretical view of is a social constructionist perspective of language and knowledge. Young childrens’ early literacy is seen from Early Childhood Literacy and multimodal views. The results are presented in four studies that together construct knowledge about the overall aim. The first two studies, based on focus groups, give insight into preschool educators’ views, and professional language about young children’s literacy. Young children’s interactions with each other and an interactive board (IWB), were then explored by video recordings in the third and fourth studies. The interactions are discussed in relation to sign- and meaning making, imagination and creativity. The professional language of Swedish preschool educators is eventually discussed as a dialogism of earlier theoretical and leading voices. The use of concepts such as bodily alliterations and pictographic writing are proposed as ways to expand the theoretical approach to young children’s literacy processes in preschool.

By observing childrens interactions and view their bodily activities and their use of resources as doing literacy- and language their literacy could be challenged in preschools in its own right, and seen as literacy education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, 2015. 142 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, ISSN 1652-7933 ; 30
Keyword
young preschoolers, meaning making, literacy, multimodality, preschool, technology
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-26423 (URN)978-91-628-9439-9 (ISBN)978-91-628-9449-5 (digital) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-04, HJ-aulan, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Gjuterigatan 5, Jönköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-05-05 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2015-10-13Bibliographically approved

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