Critical Literacy in the Early Years : Emergence and Sustenance in an Age of Accountability

Comber, Barbara (2013) Critical Literacy in the Early Years : Emergence and Sustenance in an Age of Accountability. In Larson, Joanne & Marsh, Jackie (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy. SAGE Publications, London, pp. 587-601.

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The work of early childhood educators in facilitating young children’s literacy acquisition has never received more attention than in the new millennium. Media hype about literacy crises, falling standards, teacher quality and government promises of minimum standards for all children have simultaneously increased the ‘visibility’ of literacy and the stakes for school performance. Indeed the last two decades could be seen as an age of pronouncements with respect to literacy, with politicians internationally promising to cure supposed low literacy with standardized tests and mandated programmes.

As the rhetoric around literacy intensifies many late-capitalist economies are experiencing shifts that have increased the gaps between rich and poor, changed the very nature of work, and fundamentally altered the cultural mix of their populations. More and more children attending schools where English is the language of instruction speak it as a second or third language. Many children have experienced the effects of war, terrorism, migration and poverty. Many live in fractured, fragmented and changing families.

Teacher populations are changing too. In some places aging teacher workforces mean that there is already a shortage of qualified teachers. Literacy is also changing as the impact of digital technologies on global and local communication, economies and knowledges begins to bite in everyday and working lives. It is challenging to think about how spaces for the emergence and sustenance of critical literacy in early childhood education might be created.

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ID Code: 59274
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Critical literacy, early years, emergence, accountability
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 SAGE Publications
Deposited On: 25 Apr 2013 23:02
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 05:43

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