Parents' Understandings of Young Children's Symbolic Representation




Cossa, Nedra Lee

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Children’s lives reflect the social and cultural practices of their families and communities, heavily influencing their development and learning (NAEYC, 2002; Lankshear & Lawler, 1993; Luria, 1998; Steiner & Mahn, 1996). Children’s early interactions with literacy are different and unique because of the diverse social and cultural practices of their family and community (Bradford & Wyse, 2012; Shook, Marrion, & Ollila, 1989; Steiner & Mahn, 1996). This qualitative study examined 12 parents’ understandings of various forms of young children’s symbolic representation. Data were collected from each participant through focus group discussions, an in-depth home interview, children’s work samples, and one observation of a parent-child joint activity. Each parent had a child enrolled in a four-year-old classroom in a preschool located on the campus of a public university in the mid Atlantic region of the United States. Focus group discussions, in-depth interviews about children’s work samples, and observations were analyzed using constant comparative methods throughout the data collection process (Corbin & Strauss, 1990).



Early childhood education, Early childhood, Literacy, Parents