Recognizing Different Kinds of “Head Starts”

May. 10, 2010

Source: Educational Researcher, 39(4): 295-300. (May, 2010).

In this paper, the authors consider how the National Early Literacy Panel’s decision to focus on identifying precursors to “conventional” literacy skills shaped the conclusions drawn, and take-home message of the panel’s 2008 report.

The authors suggest that this approach may keep the field of literacy research from seeing and valuing other kinds of “head starts”. These “head starts” include ones that are better aligned with the broad, flexible, transcultural literacy skills that will be demanded in the future.

The authors call on the field to learn from the experiences of children from nondominant groups to build a more comprehensive model of literacy development.

Updated: Jul. 26, 2011