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ERIC Number: EJ1049247
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1082-3301
Smoothing Children's Transition into Formal Schooling: Addressing Complexities in an Early Literacy Initiative in Remote Aboriginal Communities, Northern Territory, Australia
Maher, Marguerite; Bellen, Linda
Early Childhood Education Journal, v43 n1 p9-17 Jan 2015
There is a growing awareness that some children transition into formal schooling more readily than others. Compelling evidence indicates that children familiar with the skills and knowledge associated with the dominant practices of literacy teaching in schools have an advantage. While families play a pivotal role in children's early literacy development, there is often a disjuncture between the literacy experiences of children from minority backgrounds and those they encounter on entry into formal schooling. Quality teaching in the prior-to-school setting becomes increasingly important for these children. This paper first examines what research and the literature reveal about successful transitioning of children into formal schooling, successful early literacy practices, and the importance of a quality early childhood education. This sets the backdrop for a description of an early literacy initiative, which took place in six remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, Australia, where all the early childhood educators were under- or un-qualified. Significant aspects emerging from the initiative were: the engagement of the Elders in the community for the implementation of the initiative; the "two-way" learning between the non-Indigenous University mentor and the Aboriginal early childhood educator in each community; the necessity for making Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing a key pillar of the children's literacy learning; the bilingual nature of the initiative; and the University mentors gradually stepping further and further away, moving from teacher, to coach, to mentor, as the skills and confidence of the early childhood educators developed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A