Literacy on the edge

Hattingh, L (2017) Literacy on the edge. In: 27th EECERA Conference, 29 August - 1 September 2017, Bologna, Italy.


This presentation builds upon my PhD thesis, a case study which explored the literacy practices of twelve three to eight-year- old children at home and in their school's nursery and early childhood classrooms. The children's literacy was made visible through their multimodal artefacts and symbolic representations such as drawings, writing and constructions (Kress, 1996). The study was framed by socio-cultural theory (Hedegaard, 2012), where the individual child's actions were located within a cultural and social context. Children made meaning in complex ways when engaged in spontaneous activities on the edges of official literacy practices (Dyson, 2013). An interpretivist approach was used, where children's representations might be seen as reflective of their thinking. Data were made up of visual images of the children's representations, supported by field notes, observations and conversational interviews with children and their parents. The study reflected an ethical pedagogy where the concern was with the children's voices, and aimed to foreground the children's perspectives in their meaning-making practices. Findings showed that the children represented their thinking spontaneously in rich and diverse ways in spaces that were outside the directed literacy activities of their classrooms. These spaces reflected children's cultures, which in turn resonated with their everyday lived experiences. This study calls for the recognition of the diverse ways in which children make meaning in early childhood settings, in relation to the materials and resources available, and to the social context and experiences within which they are situated.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Keywords: literacy, edge, space, meaning, artefacts
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 15:31
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2023 15:53
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