Seeing All Kids as Readers: A New Vision for Literacy in the Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom / Edition 1

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For young children with moderate to severe disabilities, developing literacy skills can lead to more active and fulfilling membership in society. This motivating, forward-thinking book will help educators see all their students as literate and use an innovative social model of literacy to enrich the skills of children with and without disabilities. Relating in-depth stories from hundreds of hours spent observing inclusive preschool classrooms, literacy researcher Christopher Kliewer inspires readers to

  • view literacy as more than direct interaction with alphabetic text
  • use dynamic, imaginative methods—dramatic play, drawing, painting, dance, movement—to help students with disabilities acquire useful literacy skills
  • encourage students with and without disabilities to collaborate on literacy-building activities throughout the day
  • incorporate the interests, imaginations, and histories of students with disabilities in classroom routines and lessons

Special and general educators will discover how this bold new vision of literacy and inclusion will benefit all their students, and they'll use the vivid examples as models in their own classrooms. A passionate, carefully researched call to action, this eye-opening book will help educators move beyond the labels and expectations often associated with disability, presume competence instead of limitation, and ensure that students with significant disabilities reach their full potential as literate citizens.

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Editorial Reviews

Independent Consultant and Scholar; author, "You're Going to Love This Kid!": Teaching Students with Autism in the I - Paula Kluth
"Challenges us to understand ability and literacy itself in new ways . . . a compelling and important read for anyone who is interested in literacy, teaches children, or wants to inspire change in education."
Professor, Language, Reading, and Exceptionalities, Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University - David Koppenhaver
"It's hard to imagine what exciting classrooms might be if we all assumed, like the inclusive educators in these pages, that our students' only real limitations were our own imagining of their possibilities."
Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University; author, "Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone" - Douglas Biklen
"Sparkles with optimism, challenging us to discover the passion of children with disabilities to recognize the literate world and be recognized."
California Bookwatch
"Provides a fine inspirational guide to literacy which uses imaginative teaching methods to help students with disabilities acquire literacy's an outstanding guide."
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
"[Kliewer] outlines his recommendations for fostering the literate development of young children with severe disabilities in inclusive settings. Several practical activities are summarized in a table and will be particularly useful to early childhood educators."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557669018
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 150
  • Sales rank: 523,045
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Kliewer is a professor of special education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on inclusive education and qualitative research methods. His own qualitative research is focused on the literacy development of young children with significant developmental disabilities who are schooled in inclusive early childhood programs. Since 2001, his research has been supported through U.S. Department of Education research grants. His publications have appeared in the Harvard Educational Review, American Educational Research Journal, and the Teachers College Record among numerous other sociological and educational research venues.

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Table of Contents

About the Author     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
"Dancing to Books": Local Understanding and Literate Participation in Early Childhood     7
Implementing Local Understanding     9
Encouraging Literate Participation     10
The Genesis of Local Understanding     12
"It's About Making Sense": Citizenship in the Inclusive Early Childhood Literate Community     15
Young Children's Expression on a Continuum     19
Established Constructions of Literacy     26
Perceptions of Literacy for Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities     32
"We Going a Space": Cardboard Boxes, Rockets, and the Child's Literate Construction of Meaning     37
Children's Literate Citizenship Formed from the Triadic Literate Profile     37
Interrelationship of the Constructs of the Young Child's Literate Profile     41
The Bethel Rocket     42
"Just Shooting for the Stars" and Other Concluding Thoughts     51
"I See All My Kids as Readers!": Symbolic Presence, Narrative Construction, and Literacy Signs     53
The Child's Symbolic Presence     56
The Child's Construction of Narrative     58
The Child's Construction of Visual, Orthographic, and Tactile Sign Systems     62
The Tenuous Relationship Between the Child and Literate Citizenship     86
"And I Looked in Those Eyes": Fostering the Literate Citizenship of Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities     91
The Struggle for Literate Acceptance     93
Realizing a Literate Voice     95
Currents of Literate Citizenship     98
The Basic Skills-Phonics Model and Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities     127
"His Only Limitations Were How I Imagined He Could Do Things": Concluding Thoughts on the Literate Citizenship of Young Children with Significant Developmental Disabilities     131
Inclusive Education and Local Understanding: The True Basics of Literate Citizenship     133
The Enriched Community: Inclusion and Literacy     135
Literacy as a Civil Right     136
References     139
Index     147
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