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Jackie Marsh

In: The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy

Chapter 12: Early Childhood Literacy and Popular Culture

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Early Childhood Literacy and Popular Culture
Early childhood literacy and popular culture

Schooling across centuries and continents has celebrated particular versions of ‘high’ culture in the hope of leading the populace to ‘the best that has been thought and known in the world’ (Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, 1869). As Steedman suggests, schools have historically seen themselves as places ‘where working-class children might be compensated for belonging to working-class families’ (Steedman, 1985: 156). This is no less true of schooling for young children as it is for the education of their older counterparts. This chapter focuses on research that has challenged this hegemonic construction of the literacy curriculum, research which has thrust issues relating to the study of the popular firmly onto the educational agenda.

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