Journal of Early Childhood Literacy
School of Education
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2020
Research has consistently established the positive impact of sharing books with young children. Evidence suggests several important factors when evaluating book sharing with young children, including the quality of educator practice = and the nature of groupings, as well as the frequency and duration of book sharing sessions and access to books.
Other evidence suggests book sharing may be particularly important for children from low ses backgrounds attending early learning settings.
This paper reports on a larger study which investigated the factors and relationships influencing the use of children’s literature to support principles of diversity in kindergarten rooms of long day care centres.
A mixed methods approach was adopted and a convergent design was employed to synthesise the qualitative and quantitative data and interpret significant relationships and their meanings. The quality of educator practice was measured through the Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR) and Children’s engagement in book sharing was assessed using the Children’s Orientation to Book Reading Rating Scale. Detailed analysis of 148 video recorded book sharing sessions produced statistical representations of the frequency and duration of book sharing across the contexts and the nature of involvement of the children in the study. Twenty four educators and 110 children from four long day care centres in Western Australia participated. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, video-based observations, field notes, document analysis and a book audit.
The results showed that while the children in this study had a range of book sharing experiences, few of these were frequent or of high quality. Of great concern is the finding that the children in this study most likely to be considered at risk of educational disadvantage were those with the least exposure to book sharing in general, and, even less so, to high quality book sharing, raising concerns about equitable outcomes for them.
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