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Title:Generations: a tapestry of literacy traditions in an African-American family
Author(s):Byrd, Kelly M
Director of Research:Dyson, Anne H
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dyson, Anne H
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Harris, Violet J; Johnson, Cynthia J; Miller, Peggy J
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literacy African-American Traditions Family Literacy Intergenerational Literacy
Abstract:Definitions of literacy conform to a model that views literacy as a set of skills reflected by a child’s scores on large-scale tests, which are favored in public schools (Street, 1995). Children from culturally diverse backgrounds are expected to engage in literacy practices that may be different from those they participate in at home. Unfamiliarity with these practices can lead to such labels as “at risk” or “low achieving” or other untenable beliefs about student achievement due to a lack of cultural competence in schools. Therefore, this research problematized dominant constructions of literacy and erroneous perceptions of literacy practices within African-American families. This study illustrated the variety of literacy experiences and practices used by one African-American family, consisting most immediately of three active generations of family participants. The study considered how the family negotiated and enacted literacy by analyzing the narratives shared about literacy experiences and examining home literacy practices in this African-American family over a period of six months. The study revealed the value these experiences and practices had on the establishment of family literacy traditions. Additionally, it elucidated significant intergenerational connections as well as historical, educational and social themes that figured into family traditions of literacy.
Issue Date:2015-12-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Kelly Byrd
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12

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