ERIC Number: EJ833979
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
Barbie, the Wiggles and Harry Potter. Can Popular Culture Really Support Young Children's Literacy Development?
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v13 n1 p31-40 2005
Research has increasingly highlighted the importance of children's social and cultural experiences for understanding about learning, what is learned and what is perceived as being important for learning. The development of literacy learning begins well before children start school as they engage in the literate practices of their homes and communities, allowing them to take and make meaning. Emergent literacy theories acknowledge the many literacies children engage with in their environment, such as signs, shopping catalogues and popular culture. Contemporary research has shown that children develop literacy understanding along a continuum, rather than in lock-step developmental stages, as they practice using literacies in everyday situations. From a social justice perspective, children have the right to access socially and culturally relevant pathways with respect to literacy and to this end, the role of popular culture in the acquisition of literacy has been acknowledged. Moreover, early childhood educators have an important role to play in bringing together the literacy experiences of home and the community with those offered in early childhood settings. This paper draws on sociocultural theory, critical theory and social interactionist perspectives to demonstrate that popular culture is important in the lives of young children in the 21st century. It advocates that literacy curricula in early childhood settings must reflect children's interests and build on their already acquired strengths developed within their social and cultural milieux.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Critical Theory, Popular Culture, Childhood Interests, Young Children, Emergent Literacy, Developmental Stages, Mass Media Effects, Social Development, Cultural Influences, Social Theories, Culturally Relevant Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A