Historical Perspectives on Literacy in Early Childhood Purpose: To more fully understand current trends in preliteracy research, as well as controversies that continue to surround best teaching practices, it is essential to have an understanding of the historical evolution of ideas and practices relevant to preparing young children for learning to read.Method: Several interrelated historical ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   November 2010
Historical Perspectives on Literacy in Early Childhood
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anne van Kleeck
    University of Texas, Dallas
  • C. Melanie Schuele
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Anne van Kleeck, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, 1966 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX 75235-7298. E-mail: annevk@utdallas.edu.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   November 2010
Historical Perspectives on Literacy in Early Childhood
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2010, Vol. 19, 341-355. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0038)
History: Received April 30, 2009 , Revised December 22, 2009 , Accepted May 28, 2010
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2010, Vol. 19, 341-355. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0038)
History: Received April 30, 2009; Revised December 22, 2009; Accepted May 28, 2010

Purpose: To more fully understand current trends in preliteracy research, as well as controversies that continue to surround best teaching practices, it is essential to have an understanding of the historical evolution of ideas and practices relevant to preparing young children for learning to read.

Method: Several interrelated historical movements relevant to placing current research and practices related to preliteracy development in context are reviewed. These ideas play out in the interrelated and changing ideas regarding the role of the family in children’s literacy development, as well as in the appropriate curriculum for preschoolers. Both historical reviews and original documents pertinent to the various historical trends are used to provide the current synthesis.

Conclusions: The roots of most current practices during, and controversies regarding, the preliteracy period of development can be traced to a variety of different historical events, as well as to prominent philosophers and educators. Familiarity with these events, philosophers, and educators provides the perspective needed to effectively evaluate new information and approaches that come to the forefront, or that are currently being practiced by different groups or in different settings.

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