Closing the gap? Overcoming limitations in sociomaterial accounts of early literacy

BURNETT, Cathy, MERCHANT, Guy and NEUMANN, Michelle (2019). Closing the gap? Overcoming limitations in sociomaterial accounts of early literacy. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

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This article uses a sociomaterial perspective to explore how deficit views of young children’s language and literacy are sustained and can be challenged. Foregrounding the notion of multiplicity, it considers how diverse sociomaterial relations work to uphold particular kinds of practice and particular arrangements of bodies and things over others. These relations may interfere with and interface with each other in different ways, sometimes sustaining but also potentially disrupting deficit discourses and practices. Our sociomaterial perspective is illustrated with a short vignette from a study of children and touchscreen tablets in an early years setting. An initial analysis is followed by a series of alternate and tentative tracings of other kinds of relations that play through those moments. The article contributes to debates about social inequality by troubling the certainties generated though deficit models of children’s literacy, whilst working proactively to envision and produce alternate possibilities that foreground the potentialities generated as people and other materials assemble together.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2019 11:44
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 09:31

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