Everyday literacy practices: Normalising the school literate child

South African Journal of Childhood Education

Field Value
Title Everyday literacy practices: Normalising the school literate child
Creator Martin, Colwyn D.
Subject — early childhood; literacy practices; disciplinary power; genealogy; normalisation; agency; self-regulation
Description Background: One can argue that literacy practices work to produce forms of literacy knowledge and literate children in early childhood contexts. However, one needs to interrogate how these literacy practices create technologies of power that construct and normalise the school ready literate child.Aim: The ethnographic study employed in this article explored everyday literacy practices in early childhood contexts that were considered ‘usual’, the kinds of literate children these practices engendered and its normalising effects on children and teachers.Settings: The study was conducted in two early childhood centres with two early childhood teachers and teaching children between the ages of 3 and 4.Methods: The study was qualitative in nature and used participant observation. A genealogical analysis of literacy practices showed how technologies of power were embodied in different literacy practices that worked to construct and normalise the school ready child in different ways.Results: The findings revealed that everyday literacy practices were used to produce a literate child through disciplinary processes of observation, normalisation and examination. These literacy practices operated in covert ways where school readiness was tied to educational success. However, during this process of normalisation, children began to [re]position themselves within the literacy space, showing individual agency and self-regulation.Conclusion: Although the findings of this study are not generalisable, it has implications for how literacy and literacy practices are conceptualised in early childhood settings. This article advocates a reconceptualisation of school readiness by questioning embedded practices within the competence model of school readiness and calls for the early childhood field to dissect incisively what and who are advantaged and disadvantaged through early literacy practices.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2021-08-05
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajce.v11i1.946
Source South African Journal of Childhood Education; Vol 11, No 1 (2021); 11 pages 2223-7682 2223-7674
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/946/1889 https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/946/1890 https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/946/1891 https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/946/1892
Coverage South Africa — —
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Colwyn D. Martin https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0