Scoping the field of literacy research: how might a range of research be valuable to primary teachers?

BURNETT, Cathy (2022). Scoping the field of literacy research: how might a range of research be valuable to primary teachers? Working Paper. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Institute of Education.

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Literacy research has an important role to play in helping to shape educational policy and practice. The field of literacy research however is difficult to navigate as literacy has been understood and researched in many different ways. It encompasses work from psychology, sociology, philosophy and neuroscience, literary theory, media and literacy studies, and methodologies include a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. In mapping this complex field, I draw on a systematic ‘scoping survey’ of a sample of peerreviewed articles featuring literacy research relevant to literacy education for children aged 5-11. Studies were deemed relevant if they: addressed literacy pedagogies and interventions; and/or provided pertinent insights (e.g. into children’s experiences of literacy); and/or offered implications for the range and scope of literacy education. The results of this survey are important in two ways. Firstly they help to articulate the range of literacy research and the varied ways that such research might speak to literacy education. Secondly they challenge easy distinctions between paradigms in literacy research. Recognising this complexity and heterogeneity matters given the history of relationships between literacy policy and practice in countries such as England, where polarised debate has often erased the subtle differences of perspective and confluence of interest that this survey illuminates. Based on the results of this survey I argue that an inclusive approach to literacy research is needed in educational contexts. Otherwise alternative and/or complementary ways of supporting children’s literacy learning may be missed, as will important possibilities for literacy education and children’s current and future lives.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 09:49
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 09:30

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