Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/91955
Title: Democracy or legacy? Boys’ views on early literacy in three Maltese state schools
Authors: Bonello, Charmaine
Keywords: Literacy -- Study and teaching (Early childhood) -- Malta
Early childhood education -- Malta
Boys -- Education -- Malta
Language experience approach in education -- Malta
Children's rights -- Malta
Democracy and education -- Malta
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Sage
Citation: Bonello, C. (2021). Democracy or legacy? Boys’ views on early literacy in three Maltese state schools. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 1-15.
Abstract: Malta, a former British colony, has inherited a legacy of formal education, which remains stubbornly in place even after almost 60 years of independence. Similarly, persistent are arguments in research and policy highlighting democracy and children’s rights in early years practice and boys’ underachievement in literacy. This paper examines 5- to 6-year-old boys’ perspectives about their schooled reading and writing experiences in three Maltese state schools through the dual lenses of children’s rights and democratic practice to create new understandings of these widely discussed longstanding phenomena. The paper discusses themes emerging from three focus group interviews which were part of a broader mixed-methods phenomenological doctoral study. Findings revealed that most boys experienced undesirable reading and writing practices, pointing to a need to rollback the highly formalised approach to literacy practised in many early years of educational settings in Malta. This paper questions whether countries like Malta will remain paralysed by a legacy of early formal schooling or move forward to an actual realisation of children’s rights through sustained democratic early childhood paedagogies.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/91955
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