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COMPARE - Collaboration with parents and Multiliteracy in early Childhood Education

  • Research team: Claudine Kirsch (PI), Gabrijela Aleksić, Sascha Neumann (January-March 2020), Valérie Kemp, Laura Colucci, Džoen Bebić-Crestany
  • Duration: January 2020-December 2023
  • Funding: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse, Service National de la Jeunesse, Fonds National de la Recherche, University of Luxembourg

International assessment studies continue to show that children of ethnic minority background and low socioeconomic status are more likely to have poor literacy skills and weak academic achievements. Preliteracy skills are strong predictors of literacy development, and, therefore, it is essential that parents and early childhood educators engage children in literacy activities from an early age. In trilingual Luxembourg, the non-formal sector of early childhood underwent important changes. In 2017, a multilingual education programme was implemented, requiring educators to develop children’s skills in Luxembourgish, familiarise them with French and value their home languages. The programme builds on language education, partnership with parents and networking with various institutions. Currently, home-crèche collaboration and multiliteracy activities in crèches are underdeveloped.

This project examines the multiliteracy practices in crèches as well as partnership building in Luxembourg. To help educators develop their understanding of the importance of literacy and collaboration, design multiliteracy activities, and establish partnerships, we offer professional development to educators in 20 crèches. The project aims to examine, firstly, the ways in which educators, parents and children engage in multiliteracy activities and adults establish home-crèche collaboration and, secondly, the influence of the multiliteracy practices and collaboration on the actors’ attitudes and literacy engagement.

The mixed-method study uses questionnaires to identify the current state of partnerships and literacy practices as well as the educators’ and parents’ (changing) experiences of and perspectives on collaboration and multiliteracy. We also conduct a qualitative ethnographic study with observation, video-recording, interviews and documentation in three crèches to gain insights into multiliteracy practices and the establishment of partnerships. The findings should address research gaps in relation to partnership building at the micro-level, the engagement in multiliteracy activities of three-year-olds, their parents and educators, and the influence of collaboration and multiliteracy on attitudes and engagement. In addition, the study should contribute to the development of partnerships and multiliteracy in crèches and homes.

 

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