The potential of a partnership: supporting young children’s literacy learning and early childhood teacher preparation through reading, story telling and play.

Year: 2019

Author: Schneider, Karen, Swinkels, Kathy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Universities play a vital role in supporting communities to create a better future for young children. In Australian initial teacher education, accreditation requirements place a priority on school-university partnerships that enable not only professional experience, but also contribute to course design, assessment of readiness to teach and impact on student learning. This study is an examination of the impact of preschool-university partnerships on young children’s literacy learning and pre-service teachers’ skills and confidence in teaching.

With the aim of building meaningful partnerships within the local community, academics at a newly established university campus connected with a local childcare and kindergarten. Together, the university academics and preschool teacher developed a plan to combine their literacy programs with the aim of supporting both the preschoolers’ and the pre-service teachers’ skills and confidence in literacy learning and teaching. Over the semester, preschoolers and their teachers intend to visit the university on a regular basis for reading, story telling and play based literacy experiences that will be planned and implemented by pre-service teachers enrolled in an early childhood literacy subject.

The research will adopt and interpretivist approach and use multiple methods of data collection over a 12-week period. Data will be collected through children's art, observations and reflective journals maintained by preschool and university teachers.

This presentation will report on the design and implementation of the research and any findings to date. The study contributes to our understanding of how university-preschool partnerships impact on literacy learning experiences for preschoolers and pre-service teachers. It is also expected that the study will provide opportunities for the university and pre-service teachers to expand their community engagement within the local area and beyond.