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Family Literacy

Family Literacy Programs, Family-school Relationships, Focus On Storybook Reading, Early Childhood FocusIssues

In 1983, Denny Taylor coined the term family literacy to describe the ways in which reading and writing were embedded in the daily lives of the middle-class families with whom she worked. Taylor's ethnographic study documented young children's early attempts at reading and writing for a variety of purposes, including writing lists and notes, and reading product labels, notices, and traffic signs. Taylor concluded that these parents did not deliberately set out to teach their children literacy skills. Rather, by encouraging children to participate in different literacy activities, parents and other family members supported early literacy development.

Several debates have emerged in family literacy research and practice that stem from the varied philosophical approaches described above. With the growing popularity of family literacy, these debates have taken on new importance. These are described below.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily & Marriage Traditions