Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy: Building Good Practice

This short book (Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy: Building Good Practice, by Marilyn Fleer and Bridie Raban, 2007) was in my nephew’s nursery and it’s really well written! easy to read; makes sense; doesn’t rely on jargon… accessible by parents, I think

The authors explain the book on the first page, stating that it was “designed to support you [Early Childhood educators more specifically] with improving literacy and numeracy learning for young children through looking at your own practice (self-appraisal). There are three sections in this book. The first section provides background information on literacy and numeracy concepts. The second and third sections provide different ways of thinking about literacy and numeracy learning:

  • Mapping tools (mapping what you have or do)
  • Concept development (thinking about literacy and numeracy)
  • Workshops for developing literacy and numeracy.” (p.3)

Questions are posed through the book that seem to me both provocative and interesting:

“Will the everyday concepts developed in the home and the concepts being learned in your early childhood setting be the same?” (p.4)

“How do we find out the everyday concepts held by the children? What do we do in our early childhood settings to connect with these everyday concepts?” (p.4)

“Do you have a range of shapes available for children to use (e.g. dramatic area, block area, painting paper, collage, window crystals, etc.)?” (p.11) – and I would add here: do these shapes reflect the culture of the child (shapes common to Western mathematics are not universal and may not reflect the thinking of all cultures in the centre…)

“Do you provide spaces where reading, writing, drawing and number games can take place?” (p.12)

“Do you actively observe children’s literacy and numeracy development and note when children have attained concepts (rather than just tasks)?” (p.14)

There are many more questions and suggestions and guidance on improving provision for early development of numeracy and literacy concepts. This is a great little book!

Ref: Marilyn Fleer and Bridie Raban (2007) Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy: Building Good Practice. Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: ? [ISBN: 10 1-921162- 10-4]

Apparently, there’s a DVD that goes with it… and in her preface, Maxine McKew (Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care) points to the resources available at http://www.oececc.gov.au/education/learning_resources.htm

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in early years education, Parent and child, Understanding literacy, Understanding numeracy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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