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Meaning-making and early literacy: A challenge for teachers and preschool teachers?
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2012 (English)In: Occasional Papers in Education and Lifelong Learning, ISSN 1755-6902., Vol. 6, no 1-2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores tentative links between findings from a study of how Early Literacy was nurtured in 40 Swedish preschool groups and another study focusing Student Teachers´ ability to perform text analyses of basals used for literacy learning. Our inquiries focused how meaning-making practices were implemented in preschools and how critical awareness was fostered within the  preschools´ literacy practices. In addition, we wanted to build an understanding of how Student Teachers perceived the contents in basals, in order to highlight Student Teachers´ own capacity to read critically, so that teachers´ use of text-books fosters children´s critical awareness and challenges taken-for-granted perceptions of contents. 40 preschool teachers/preschool teacher training students made observations of read-alouds with the children during one week. The informants also wrote narratives where they described their practices, which enabled us to use both statistical descriptions and the informants perceptions as expressed in their own words as basis for our analyses. The preschool-teachers indicated that both lack of knowledge of the importance of `talking text´ and lack of time made both read-alouds and follow-up activities very scarce.  When 20 Student Teachers examined the contents of eight reading materials they arrived at very shallow analyses of the contents and discourses visible between the lines were seldom detected. Taken together these findings imply that critical awareness and meaning-making appears to be crucial development areas in both in-service training and teacher training, in particular, as the needs of children with diverse backgrounds may be neglected when meaning-making is not given first priority.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, no 1-2
Keyword [en]
emergent literacy, preschool, critical awareness, meaning-making, read aloud, basals
National Category
Pedagogical Work Pedagogy
Research subject
educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59405OAI: diva2:552082
Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2013-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Damber, Ulla
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