Date of Award

1-1-1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Mary Rohl

Abstract

Study of the research literature showed that literacy skills are socialised in young children along with their learning of oral language. This socialisation process occurs within a child's home environment long before they enter formal schooling. Family literacy has been shown to have the potential to impact powerfully on children's perceptions about literacy use through role models and support provided by various family and community members. Literacy activity is often deeply embedded in daily family practices. For some children, differences between home and school literacy practices can occur. Where this mismatch occurs for children in low socio economic homes the problems associated can be compounded. In the present study a formative experimental design was used to investigate and describe some of the literacy practices of eight families living in a low socio-economic environment as identified by the parents of children attending a preprimary centre. Some family literacy programs designed to reduce the effect of the literacy mismatch between home and school have been found, in research literature, to be unsuitable for certain communities because of their inability to address the needs of individual families. The present study reports on the results of a family literacy program jointly planned by the teacher/researcher and parents of eight families from a low socio-economic community. It describes the nature of the family literacy program and the perceptions of the program held by the eight participants. Issues arising from this family literacy program design are highlighted and some implications for educational practice and further research are presented.

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