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ERIC Number: EJ770767
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0966-9760
Learning How to Learn: Parental Ethnotheories and Young Children's Preparation for School
Brooker, Liz
International Journal of Early Years Education, v11 n2 p117-128 Jun 2003
This paper discusses one aspect of the findings from an ethnographic study of the ways in which four-year-old children learn, and are taught, at home and in their Reception class. The children were from two distinctive cultural backgrounds within the same urban neighbourhood: one-half belonged to UK ("Anglo") families, and one-half to families from Bangladesh. They were observed and assessed throughout their first school year, and additional data were collected from interviews with parents, practitioners and the children themselves. Analysis of the data suggested that one way of understanding the variation in the children's experiences was through the ethnotheories, or cultural belief systems, of their home communities--such as their parents' concepts of childhood, and their theories of intelligence and instruction. The paper argues that such differences in children's home preparation have consequences for their school experience, and carry implications for their school providers. The study of parental ethnotheories, therefore, may help to explain, and alleviate, the differences in school achievement of children from diverse backgrounds. However, accessing respondents' personal theories presents both ethical and methodological problems, particularly when the researcher is working with socially disadvantaged groups. (Contains 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bangladesh; United Kingdom (England)