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The First Time I’ve Felt Included: Identifying Inclusive Literacy Learning in Early Childhood through the Evaluation of Better Beginnings

Inclusive Principles and Practices in Literacy Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-590-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-589-4

ISSN: 1479-3636

Publication date: 7 July 2017

Abstract

In this chapter we begin by discussing the concept of inclusion, with a particular focus on inclusion in literacy learning in the early years (birth to five) in Australia. We then consider the research evidence for the potential impact of home literacy practices in the early years on later school and life outcomes, and examine some early childhood family literacy initiatives that aim to help develop young children’s literacy learning. We describe how Better Beginnings, a universal family literacy programme, supports parents/carers and children to build their skills, knowledge and understandings of early literacy. We show how Better Beginnings has operated, adapted and expanded in response to longitudinal systematic evaluations and explain how new programmes have been created to address the specific needs of particular groups of families, with the long-term intent of maximising inclusion for all families of young children in Western Australia. We identify aspects of inclusion, through which diversity is constructed as the norm rather than the exception. We conclude by suggesting that establishing connections between family literacy practices and school literacy programmes which embrace inclusivity is one of the first steps towards ensuring that all children are able to reach their potential and become active participants in a literate society.

Keywords

Citation

Barratt-Pugh, C., Rohl, M. and Allen, N. (2017), "The First Time I’ve Felt Included: Identifying Inclusive Literacy Learning in Early Childhood through the Evaluation of Better Beginnings", Inclusive Principles and Practices in Literacy Education (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Vol. 11), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 125-142. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-363620170000011009

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited