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ERIC Number: ED441616
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-28
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
....More of a Puzzle Piece: Early Childhood Students, Literacy and Families from Diverse Backgrounds.
Theilheimer, Rachel
Early childhood majors have little opportunity to work with adults but are expected to forge relationships with families once they begin work in the field. This study examined the experiences of six community college early childhood majors and one teacher educator in using children's literature to learn about working with young children's families. On a weekly basis, the students introduced children's books to between one and five fellow community college students who had been learning English as their second language. In these meetings, the group discussed the experience of reading aloud to their children the book they borrowed the week before, and the early childhood major introduced a new book and reading strategy. Group members then formed pairs and practiced reading aloud. The early childhood students also met weekly with their instructor to reflect upon their experiences, to write about their experiences, and to complete interviews. Analysis of interviews and extensive field notes suggested that most of the early childhood students began the project with preconceptions of adult second language learners that worried them but ended the project with changed attitudes. Early childhood students sought families' strengths, supported situations that enhanced parent-child relationships, and listened nonjudgmentally as family members discussed those relationships. Students were further able to explore some of the elements that contribute to positive relationships with families. Some students expressed fears about working with adults in groups and about the expectations that others might have of them. The use of the children's books raised issues that enabled the early childhood majors and their group members to explore similarities across cultures and individual differences among students. (Contains 20 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A