Is the twig bent as the tree is inclined? Children and parents interacting with school-distributed literacy assignments

Marlot Akkermans, Jeannette Doornenbal, Annelies Kassenberg, Roel J. Bosker, Simone Doolaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we analyze in-depth interviews conducted with 26 Dutch third-graders as well as interviews with one of each child’s parents. The children attended one of six schools, each with a relatively large population of families with a low socioeconomic status, where home-based literacy assignments aimed at increasing children’s enjoyment of reading were distributed for a duration of three years. The aim of this study is to gain knowledge of distinctive interaction characteristics of child-parent dyads regarding at-home literacy, in order to learn how these characteristics can help educational professionals and researchers answer to the needs of children and parents when designing and distributing at-home reading assignments. Based on the attitudes towards reading and the skillset of child and parent(s), we distinguished three reader-profiles: (1) Autonomously motivated readers, (2) Incompatible readers, and (3) Generational non-readers. The practical implications of our research are that, in order to be appealing, at-home reading assignments should be differentiated, non-repetitive, and concrete, complete, and structured. Prerequisite implications are that both children and parents value regular positive feedback on their at-home literacy activities and that, in approaching parents, it appears to be advisable to take them for what they are: parents, not substitute teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-399
JournalPsychology in the schools
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • elementary schools
  • literacy
  • parental involvement

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