Why do early years educators engage with phonics policy directives in their work with under-threes in England?

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Abstract

This paper explores how the neoliberal policy directives relating to the teaching of phonics in schools in England, influences the pedagogy of early years educators working with under-threes. The research highlights that these early years educators are confounded by early reading, given that there is no clear definition or provision separating early reading from the mandatory teaching of phonics in schools. This paper asserts that it is vital to detach provision for early reading for under-threes from the ‘formal’ teaching of phonics recommended for schools. In addition, early years educators require immediate support to become ‘resistant’ to such inappropriate policy directives, persistently driven by the school readiness agenda and the ‘datafication’ and inequality of early years pedagogy, previously highlighted by Roberts-Holmes (2015) and Bradbury (2011).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalPolicy Futures in Education
Early online date11 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • under-threes
  • phonics
  • policy compliant
  • early reading
  • school readiness

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