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Re-situating Canadian Early Childhood Education

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Edited By Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Larry Prochner

This book presents research exploring the potential for postfoundational theories to revitalize discussions in early childhood education. In the past two decades, postfoundation theories (e.g., postmodern, poststructural, feminist, postcolonial, etc.) have revolutionized the field of early childhood education, but at the same time, little has been written about the value and potential of this movement within the context of Canada. Postfoundational theories have the potential to disrupt normalizing early childhood education discourses that create and maintain social inequities, and to respect differences and diversities. Given the importance of diversity in Canada, it seems relevant to explore further how postfoundational theories might transform early childhood education.
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2 The Integration of Cognitive and Sociocultural Theories of Literacy Development for Instruction and Research: Why? How?Katherine Davidson

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Why? How?

Katherine Davidson

Literacy is inarguably vital for the social and economic welfare of individuals and society (Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network [CLLRNet], 2009b; Purcell-Gates & Tierney, 2009; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). This reality is particularly relevant today in a progressively more globalized world, where political, economic, and social exchanges challenge individuals and nations to be ever more competitive. In response, governments and agencies have increasingly promoted policies and practices to advance students’ literacy skills. For example, we have witnessed the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) and the Reading First initiative in the United States, which were based on the National Reading Panel’s report Teaching Children to Read (2000), the Ontario Ministry of Education’s (2003) Early Reading Strategy: The Report of the Expert Panel on Early Reading in Ontario, and more recently, the National Strategy for Early Literacy (CLLRNet, 2009b) to address an apparent literacy crisis in North America. Underpinning these reports and initiatives is a predominantly cognitive, scientifically based view of literacy development that Cummins et al. (2005) claimed disregards “affect, identity, respect, and human relationships” (p. 39). Lacking in these recent initiatives is an explicit attempt to address the needs of an increasingly pluralistic population. Such a narrow, cognitive perspective of literacy development risks perpetuating inequalities that stem from social and cultural diversity, which characterizes this population. In Ontario, for example, diversity is defined as

the presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a...

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