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Teachers’ Reflections on Parental Involvement in Emergent Literacy Development in Rwanda
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Cultures ofEducational Policy: International Issues of Policy-outcome Relationships / [ed] Béatrice Boufoy-Bastick, Strasbourg, France: Analytrics , 2012Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study examines the reflections of teachers in nursery and lower primary schools on parental involvement in emergent literacy with the overarching aim to gain knowledge on developing children’s emergent literacy in Rwanda and other countries with similar challenges. It is indeed only of recent that early childhood education policies which acknowledge emergent literacy and prioritize nursery education have been introduced in the Rwandan education system. Qualitative data were collected via an open ended questionnaire and in-depth interviews involving 24 participants, including 13 teachers of nursery schools and 11 teachers of lower primary schools from both urban and rural settings. The findings indicate that teachers in nursery and lower primary schools generally emphasize the necessity of involving the parents more in the creation of a conducive environment that nurtures the children’s emergent literacy. At the same time, the study suggests that the emergent literacy development is a shared responsibility translated into a teacher-parent partnership for children’s success at school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Strasbourg, France: Analytrics , 2012.
Keyword [en]
Parental involvement; emergent literacy; nursery school; lower primary school; early childhood education
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-81015DiVA: diva2:549878
Note

Chapter accepted for publishing in above forthcomming book.

Available from: 2012-09-05 Created: 2012-09-05 Last updated: 2013-02-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Making of a Reading Society: Developing a Culture of Reading in Rwanda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Making of a Reading Society: Developing a Culture of Reading in Rwanda
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Following a growing concern among education stakeholders about the lack of a reading culture and low literacy levels among Rwandans in general and university students in particular, the aim of this thesis is to increase the awareness of Rwandans about the development of a reading culture and early literacy. To achieve this aim, four studies with participants representing different experiences related to reading culture were performed. These qualitative studies draw on different perspectives on the development of a reading culture and emergent literacy by using open-ended questionnaires and interviews. The thesis takes sociocultural and emergent literacy theories as points of departure.

The first study investigates students’ reflections on their previous reading experiences, and discuss ways to develop literacy and a reading culture in Rwanda. The next one sheds light on parents’ involvement in literacy practices at home and the third study concerns what literacy knowledge teachers expect from their pupils when they start nursery and lower primary school. An example of a literacy event (storytelling) is given in the fourth study where children’s narratives of fairy tales are followed by their discussions on gender issues, which in turn can develop the children’s interest in reading. This can also help them relate texts to their life and teach them to think critically.

In sum, the studies show that there is a limited reading culture in Rwanda. That is attributed to the colonial and post-colonial education system, reliance on verbal communication, limited access to reading materials, and ultimately the low status of the mother tongue Kinyarwanda within the sociolinguistic configuration of Rwanda. Also, the participating students and teachers point out the necessity of involving parents more in the creation of an environment that nurtures children’s emergent literacy development so that it becomes a shared responsibility translated into a teacherparent partnership for children’s success at school. Hence, the findings inform the use of this thesis which is to promote literacy and a reading culture in Rwanda by engaging the whole nation in a national effort to build a sustainable culture of reading. To paraphrase the old African saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, I want to conclude by saying that it takes a nation to develop a culture of reading.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 76 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 165
Keyword
Reading culture, oral tradition, emergent literacy, Rwanda, students’ literacy experiences, responsibility for early literacy, children’s literature
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81016 (URN)978-91-7519-840-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-28, I, 101 house I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-09-05 Created: 2012-09-05 Last updated: 2013-05-06Bibliographically approved

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Ruterana, Pierre Canisius

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