Treaty 2 Territory – FNT2T Life Long Learning has been reviewing literature around early years education; specifically, optimizing transition from home life to Kindergarten for little ones. All literature states that early years is a crucial stage for little ones particularly because this is the stage in life in which children have “the remarkable capacity to learn [and retain]” (Source: “The Transition to Kindergarten: A Community Approach to Integrating a Child’s Fragmented World by Beaton & McDonnell, 2013). In light of this, how do families, early childhood, programs, and schools (learning environments) that serve little ones continue their work together to ease this transition?
Most literature states that there is a discontinuity between families, early childhood, programs and schools. Often, they are not formally linked, working together, collaborating, and/or information-sharing. The discontinuity seems to exist in curriculum, teaching strategies, info-sharing, and relationships. How do these organizations (and the families) come together to share and plan?
For First Nations children, it is said “that preservation, revitalization and use of indigenous language and culture…is linked to improved educational outcomes” (Source: Preston et al, 2012, qtd. in “The Transition to Kindergarten: A Community Approach to Integrating a Child’s Fragmented World by Beaton & McDonnell, 2013). Thus, a critical component of early years planning for First Nations peoples is culture and language, and it is a component on which First Nations are certainly focused.
Literacy is a critical part of early years learning. It was said and believed that our ancestors were not literate, but that was based on Western (English) standards and perspective. We know that our ancestors were literate and intellectual. Today, many First Nations peoples wish for their young people to walk in both worlds–to revitalize and to reclaim their First Nations identity while also learning the ways of the Western world. This also rings true for early years learning. How do families, early childhood, programs, and schools work together to enhance culture and literacy in early years learning? In our literature review, one early years program implemented taking children out on the land, taking pictures of what they saw, and creating storybooks for the kids to take home to discuss with their families. They also discussed their books with one another. By creating their own books based on their own experiences, the little ones became “enamoured of reading” (Source: “Smoothing Children’s Transition into Formal Schooling…” by Maher & Bellen, 2014).
We will continue to think about these important questions:
- How do families, early childhood, programs, and schools (learning environments) that serve little ones continue their work together to ease transition from home life to school life (prenatal to K)?
- And with that, how do families, early childhood, programs, and schools (learning environments) work together and plan to connect identity and culture (or lived experience) to literacy and learning for little ones?
Last modified: December 11, 2019