Constructing a family literacy program: Challenges and successes
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre
This paper describes a family literacy project that involved parents whose children were attending a pre-school centre in a low socio-economic suburb of Perth, Western Australia. A formative experimental design was used to examine the home literacy practices of the families as described by the parents, and to construct a series of workshops. The parents described a range of literacy practices that took place in their homes; the workshop series aimed to value and build on these practices and the parents’ prior knowledge of children’s literacy development. After some initial difficulties, the parents and the teacher/researcher jointly constructed the workshop topics, which included early literacy development, viewing and computer practices, personal, reading and reading to children. At the end of the program the parents reported that they had gained new knowledge, had become more aware of the literacy practices of their homes and how these might influence their children’s literacy development, and had experienced some change of behaviour. Factors that appeared to facilitate the program and some of the difficulties encountered are identified and discussed.