Emergent literacy as sociocultural practice: How well do New Zealand parents fit with Te Whāriki?

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A sociocultural approach to emergent literacy and growing concerns over the de-emphasis on literacy of the New Zealand early childhood education curriculum Te Whāriki call for locally situated emergent literacy programmes co-constructed by teachers, parents and children. While teachers’ approach to emergent literacy takes centre stage in research, little is known about approach of parents and whether and to what extent it is in tune with the national curriculum framework. Adopting deductive qualitative analysis, this study examines beliefs and practice about their child’s emergent literacy of 25 parents from New Zealand public kindergartens against the learning outcomes of emergent literacy proclaimed in Te Whāriki. The findings confirm general compatibility between parents’ approach to emergent literacy and that of Te Whāriki. Parents in this study recognize and respond to the importance of the preliteracy skills (e.g. name writing) for school readiness, which concretizes, operationalizes and localizes the generally, loosely and vaguely defined Te Whāriki learning outcomes. The findings support the practicality of the co-construction of local emergent literacy programmes by teachers and parents in chartered early childhood education services in New Zealand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-91
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Literacy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • co-construction
  • early childhood
  • Emergent literacy
  • parent
  • Te Whāriki

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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