Christopher Kliewer: Joining the Literacy Flow


This article is both an ethnographic and an action-based description of how excellent early childhood teachers in seven inclusive preschool and kindergarten classrooms fostered the developing literacy profiles of young children with significant developmental disabilities alongside their typically developing peers through active, engaging, social means. I have developed four broad themes, described here as currents, that support the meaning-based literacylearning of children still commonly cast as intrinsically incapable of literate citizenship, using participant observation; in-depth interviews with teachers, therapists, and parents; the implementation of increasingly responsive, systematic literacy-based themes, opportunities, and activities into certain inclusive classrooms; and the development of process-oriented portfolio documentation. Important findings irtclude the following: (a) children with significant developmental disabilities can join the early childhood literacy flow; (b) they do so through interactive mearts; and (c) spoken language need not serve as the foundation of written language learning.


Christopher Kliewer

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