Family, Culture, Literacy, and the Caribbean Early Childhood Classroom: Perspectives of an Immigrant Teacher

By Zoyah Kinkead-Clark.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 6, 2014 $US5.00

This paper focuses on my experience as a teacher working with immigrant kindergarten-aged children and their parents on a small island in the British West Indies, seeking to understand the role of family and culture in literacy development. This is a case study of three students and their parents/guardians which uses a qualitative methodology from an ethnographic perspective to illuminate the findings. I used interviews, artifacts, and my observations of the students and families in their primary learning environment, the home, and at school. My research findings support the argument that literacy development is a social practice; additionally, literacy serves a unique purpose to the family unit. Their experiences with literacies reflect their cultural identities and the value they place on its role in as an agent of change. The findings have implications for pedagogical practices and policy formulation in early childhood classrooms across the Caribbean.

Keywords: Literacy Development, Family Practices, Sociocultural, Early Childhood Education, Caribbean, Ethnography

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 21, Issue 1, August 2014, pp.33-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 6, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 667.774KB)).

Dr. Zoyah Kinkead-Clark

Lecturer in Early Childhood Education, School of Education, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica