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Learning to be literate : parental empowerment in early literacy interventions

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dc.contributor.author Busser, Dianne. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-05-21T14:02:35Z
dc.date.available 2009-05-21T14:02:35Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-21T14:02:35Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10464/1418
dc.description.abstract Considerable research has focused on the success of early intervention programs for children. However, minimal research has focused on the effect these programs have on the parents of targeted children. Many current early intervention programs champion family-focused and inclusive programming, but few have evaluated parent participation in early interventions and fewer still have evaluated the impact of these programs on beliefs and attitudes and parenting practices. Since parents will continue to play a key role in their child's developmental course long after early intervention programs end, it is vital to examine whether these programs empower parents to take action to make changes in the lives of their children. The goal of this study was to understand parental influences on the early development of literacy, and in particular how parental attitudes, beliefs and self efficacy impact parent and child engagement in early literacy intervention activities. A mixed method procedure using quantitative and qualitative strategies was employed. A quasi-experimental research design was used. The research sample, sixty parents who were part of naturally occurring community interventions in at- risk neighbourhoods in a south-western Ontario city participated in the quantitative phase. Largely individuals whose home language was other than English, these participants were divided amongst three early literacy intervention groups, a Prescriptive Interventionist type group, a Participatory Empowering type group and a drop-in parent- child neighbourhood Control group. Measures completed pre and post a six session literacy intervention, on all three literacy and evidence of change in parental empowerment. Parents in all three groups, on average, held beliefs about early literacy that were positive and that were compatible with current approaches to language development and emergent literacy. No significant change in early literacy beliefs and attitudes for pre to post intervention was found. Similarly, there was no significant difference between groups on empowerment scores, but there was a significant change post intervention in one group's empowerment score. There was a drop in the empowerment score for the Prescriptive Interventionist type group, suggesting a drop in empowerment level. The qualitative aspect of this study involved six in-depth interviews completed with a sub-set of the sixty research participants. Four similar themes emerged across the groups: learning takes place across time and place; participation is key; success is achieved by taking small steps; and learning occurs in multiple ways. The research findings have important implications for practitioners and policy makers who target at risk populations with early intervention programming and wish to sustain parental empowerment. Study results show the value parents place on early learning and point to the importance of including parents in the development and delivery of early intervention programs. groups, were analyzed for evidence of change in parental attitudes and beliefs about early literacy and evidence of change in parental empowerment. Parents in all three groups, on average, held beliefs about early literacy that were positive and that were compatible with current approaches to language development and emergent literacy. No significant change in early literacy beliefs and attitudes for pre to post intervention was found. Similarly, there was no significant difference between groups on empowerment scores, but there was a significant change post intervention in one group's empowerment score. There was a drop in the empowerment score for the Prescriptive Interventionist type group, suggesting a drop in empowerment level. The qualitative aspect of this study involved six in-depth interviews completed with a sub-set of the sixty research participants. Four similar themes emerged across the groups: learning takes place across time and place; participation is key; success is achieved by taking small steps; and learning occurs in multiple ways. The research findings have important implications for practitioners and policy makers who target at risk populations with early intervention programming and wish to sustain parental empowerment. Study results show the value parents place on early learning and point to the importance of including parents in the development and delivery of early intervention programs. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Brock University en_US
dc.subject Reading en_US
dc.subject Family literacy programs. en_US
dc.subject Reading en_US
dc.title Learning to be literate : parental empowerment in early literacy interventions en_US
dc.type Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dc.degree.name M.A. Child and Youth Studies en_US
dc.degree.level Masters en_US
dc.contributor.department Department of Child and Youth Studies en_US
dc.degree.discipline Faculty of Social Sciences en_US


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