Where are the children's voices and choices in education settings' early reading policies? A reflection on early reading provision for under-threes

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Abstract

This paper outlines the findings of an empirical research study exploring how early years settings support under-threes with their early reading development in England. The data was collected through a mixed methodological approach of a survey (n = 60 respondents), five semi-structured interviews and two focus group workshops to explore the experiences of Early Years Educators (EYEs) working with under-threes. The data were analysed using Schreier’s (2012) thematic analysis and a structured process of coding maps. The main purpose of this research study was to find out what EYEs do with under-threes to support early reading and why. Consequently, this paper seeks to acknowledge where children’s voices and their choices are included in educational settings’ early reading policies, and at what point. The findings suggest that the notions of accountability linked to assessment in schools, as part of the school readiness agenda debate in England significantly influences the EYEs pedagogy for early reading. Notably, the data provides some original insights, especially for the under-threes in this study, given that these children’s voices and their choices are not considered in ECEC settings’ reading policies. It appears from the data that when it comes to under-threes and early reading, there is no space for voices to be included, alongside the wider neoliberal reading attainment agenda. This small-scale study offers a distinct contribution to the field of research into early reading with the emphasis on under-threes. This research may be utilised to review ethical pedagogical approaches to early reading policy development and to reflect further on provision for under-threes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Early online date20 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • children’s voices
  • early reading
  • policy
  • under-threes
  • pedagogy

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