A historical reflection on literacy, gender and opportunity: implications for the teaching of literacy in early childhood education
AbstractThis paper presents a historical reflection on gender and literacy, with a view to informing the present teaching of literacy in early childhood. The relationship between gender, literacy and opportunity in the labour market is examined, given that despite girls’ achievement in literacy, in comparison with boys’, women continue to earn substantially less than men. In order to understand this relationship, this paper reflects on literacy as a socio-historical construct as well as examining the ways in which the past is constitutive in forming enduring notions of gender that penetrate all elements of society, including the literacy classroom. This critical analysis of what is learned about and through the medium of literacy in the early childhood classroom has major implications for the teaching of literacy today. It is argued that in order to address this issue, early childhood educators need to value and nurture children’s digital literacies as well as create learning environments that allow all children genuine opportunities to question, challenge and explore dominant discourses that are embedded in text.
Levy, R.A. (2016) A historical reflection on literacy, gender and opportunity: implications for the teaching of literacy in early childhood education. International Journal of Early Years Education. ISSN 0966-9760