Presentation on theme: "Fathers and Family Literacy: More than the bed-time story Sue Nichols Fatherhood in a Changing World Seminar University of South Australia June 19 th 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Fathers and Family Literacy: More than the bed-time story Sue Nichols Fatherhood in a Changing World Seminar University of South Australia June 19 th 2007
New images of fatherhood Fathering involves being there for the child. Children require attentive and sustained nurturing.
Fathers as the new work-home jugglers Peter Brand is a master of the work-family juggle. In the morning he dresses his three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter and drops them off at day care. At the end of the day, the 30-year-old senior manager … struggles to leave the office not at 8 or 9 but by 6pm. That gives Brand plenty of time to eat dinner with the kids, scrub them in the bath (or do dishes if his wife Marcy is handling that), and let Dylan, 3, choose a bed time story and a prayer – before Brand logs on to do more work. Brady 2004 Business Week
Between work and sleep: reading time & play time
The bed-time story: a fathers job? Symbolic of father participation Literacy that dovetails with 9-5 work schedules Consistent with leisure orientation to childcare Consistent with childrens rights discourse
Mens views on reading I hated reading. And I still don't really enjoy reading unless it's something that I'm really interested in. (Doug) I hate novels. I cannot pick up a novel and read it. (Stanley) We were always out playing sport, we didn't have time to sit down and go and read. (Wayne) I'm not one for picking up books. I'm not a novel reader or anything. (Neil)
Mothers as reading supervisors I think its really important for Marco to read to the kids, not just be a female role, that only Mum reads to them. (Alicia) I actually told Rs teacher that I hate to read. I cant stand reading, Ill get my husband to do it. (Roz) He would never just have picked up a book and said, Ill read you a story. It would have been, How about you read a story? (Linda) Obviously its Terris influence, I guess mainly, about reading to the kids and a lot of the stuff I read to the kids was the first time Id heard it. (Luke)
RosemaryI always read stories to the kids anyway and I like Daddy to read stories to them (laughs). SueAnd do you like to read stories to them Stanley? Stanley No I dont. (Rosemary laughs) Rosemary There was one poem that I like him to read to the kids. The poem actually read Cross patch, draw the latch, sit by the fire and spin and he used to read Cross patch, draw the latch, sat by the fire and spun. And I used to sit there and wait for it every time! (laughs) Stanley laughs. Rosemary Hes not, he doesnt read the word. Stanley And thats what Im scared of.
But doesnt the research say? Children (4/5 years old) who were read to three or more times in the last week by a family member were more likely to: read or pretend to read (77 percent vs. 57 percent). count to 20 or higher (60 percent vs. 44 percent) write their own names (54 percent vs. 40 percent) recognize all the letters of the alphabet (26 % vs 14%) Nord, Lennon, Liu & Chandler (1999) based on National Centre for Education Statistics (US) reports
Yes, but also … Children who were told stories three or more times in the last week were also more likely than those who were not to: read or pretend to read (79 % vs. 68 %) count to 20 or higher (60 % vs. 54 %) write their own names (54 % vs. 49 %) recognize all the letters of the alphabet (28 % vs. 20 %) Nord, Lennon, Liu & Chandler (1999) based on National Centre for Education Statistics (US) reports
The oral tradition: an under- recognised literacy resource
Sporting literacy & numeracy Reading: sports magazines & sections of newspapers administrative information eg calendars web-sites Watching sport on TV or in person: scoring reading play reading in-process texts eg diagrams listening to commentary & commentating, Competing/ gaming: Tipping Betting Fantasy Footy Writing: Online chatrooms & forums Keeping notes
FAST Literacy Program Some literacy activities that fathers have reported to have participated in with their children include: reading environmental print, maps, dictionaries bedtime stories, spelling names and tracing letters Using the computer for spelling or writing activities. When creating the activity list, we considered these and other strengths that fathers bring to the classroom with them. The FAST literacy activities have been designed with the following focuses: active and/or play based easily transferred to the home environment fathers strengths father and teacher friendly
Family literacy for dads in prison Training included modelling, viewing videos of fathers reading, discussion & information about family literacy Range of literature to share with children Fathers encouraged to take lead in interaction Drawing & writing in journals with partners & scribes if needed Fathers planned at-home activities for children Genisio (1996)
A dads thoughts on writing a poem When I realized it would be for my children I began to think about just how vulnerable I wanted to be in this. I wrote it out 2-3 times. I was honest and focused on who I really am as compared to how Id like to be. I feel I have a very good understanding of myself to share with my boys.
Extending family literacy for inclusivity Build on the oral tradition Link literacy to activity – while doing, in process Dont take a limited view of masculine interests & the literacy opportunities they present Tailor approaches to male carers in different circumstances
References (2001) Fathers Matter Too, Special Issue of Early Childhood Matters, The bulletin of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, No. 97 February 2001 Brady, D. (2004) Hopping aboard the Daddy track: Suddenly, achieving a work-life balance isnt just a womens issue. Business Week Vol 3907 p. 100 Genisio, M. (1996) Breaking barriers with books: A fathers book- sharing program from prison Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy 40(2) Nichols, S. (2000). Unsettling the bed-time story: parents reports of home literacy practices, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 1:3 Nichols, S. (1994). Fathers and Literacy. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 17(4): Overington, C. (2005) Modern dads revel in hands-on parenting. The Weekend Australian Sept 3-4