Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy

Front Cover
Nigel Hall, Joanne Larson, Jackie Marsh
SAGE Publications, Dec 6, 2003 - Education - 436 pages
1 Review

"This volume examines early literacy research on a global scale and puts social, cultural, and historical analyses in the front seat--without losing sight of individual and family-level matters in the process. It is comprehensive, ground-breaking, and provocative, and should help literacy researchers to think differently about the field."


--Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University

"No other publication that I am aware of brings together views from such diverse disciplines, contributing to a comprehensive statement about early childhood literacy. The Handbook not only reviews the current field of situated literacy but presents some important and exciting new research. It is a significant resource that promises to become a landmark text."


--Eve Bearne, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education, U.K.

"This handbook brings together an astonishing array of writers who explore contemporary political, cultural, and cognitive understandings of early childhood literacy. Literacy and literacy acquisition are broadly defined here to encompass not just traditional notions of reading and writing, but multimodalities, multiliteracies, and critical literacies. . . It is rich and comprehensive, an invaluable resource for scholars, educators, and students of early childhood literacy."


--Elsa Auerbach, Professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"This book is unique in its broad consideration of topics and its global focus . . . I particularly appreciate how the editors have situated current research in an historical context. They have also included development issues, pedagogy, research, and the newest areas of interest--critical literacy and popular culture."


--Diane Barone, University of Nevada, Reno

In recent years there has been a virtual revolution in early childhood studies, with a mass of books and papers seeking to re-examine and reposition childhood. At the same time an equally significant area has developed within literacy studies, reflecting a growing interest in the nature of literacy as a socially situated phenomenon. There is increased interest in literacy as a multimodal concept in which symbolic meaning is a central concept, rather than more conventional and narrower notions of literacy. The Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy is central in providing access to all these different perspectives.

The Handbook offers a way through the vast diversity of publications on early childhood literacy by providing comprehensive and up-to-date reviews of research and thinking in early childhood literacy.

The arrangement of chapters reflects a contemporary perspective on research into early childhood literacy. Major sections include: the global world of early childhood literacy; childhood literacy and family, community and culture; the development of literacy in early childhood; pedagogy and early childhood literacy and researching early childhood literacy.

Contributions by leading authorities focus on literacy as a socially situated and global experience, one that is evolving in relation to changes in contemporary culture and technological innovation.

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About the author (2003)

Joanne Larson is Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education and Chair of the Teaching and Curriculum program at the University of Rochester’s Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, USA. She received her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1995. Larson’s ethnographic research examines how language and literacy practices mediate social and power relations in literacy events in schools and communities. She is currently collaborating with Rochester community residents on a participatory action research project examining changes associated with transforming a local corner store into a cornerstone of healthy living. Her book Radical Equality in Education: Starting Over in US Schooling (Routledge, 2014) makes the case for beginning with assumptions of equality instead of inequality in education. She is the editor of Literacy as Snake Oil: Beyond the Quick Fix, Second Edition (Lang, 2007) and co-editor with Jackie Marsh of Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (Sage, 2013). Larson's journal publications include research articles in Research in the Teaching of English; Written Communication: Linguistics and Education; Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, and Discourse and Society.

Jackie Marsh is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she conducts research on young children's play and digital literacy practices in homes, communities and early years settings and primary schools. Her most recent publications include Changing Play: Play, Media and Commercial Culture from the 1950s to the Present Day (with Bishop, 2014) and Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (edited with Larson, 2013). Jackie is an editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

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