Becoming Literate in the City: The Baltimore Early Childhood by Robert Serpell

By Robert Serpell

This publication stories the result of a five-year longitudinal examine of kid's early literacy improvement. the youngsters attended pre-kindergarten in Baltimore public faculties on the study's inception and accomplished 3rd grade at its finish. Tracing those kid's constructing literacy skills through the years, the learn makes a big contribution to figuring out how most sensible to facilitate literacy attainment for kids of numerous backgrounds.

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The teachers introduced us to individual parents of focal children, and we gave them some general information about the project at that time. Follow-up appointments were arranged with those parents who expressed interest in learning more about the project and/or who agreed to participate. The initial recruitment process stretched over a 3-month period beginning in January 1993. All the focal children recruited in Wave 1 were born in 1988 and were therefore eligible to begin kindergarten in 1993–1994.

1 indicates that two of the middle-income schools (I, K) had consistently high levels of performance on achievement measures, and in fact were above the statewide averages. The fact that neither of these schools approached the state’s goal of 70% of the students receiving a score of satisfactory on the MSPAP illustrates that this criterion was set extremely high. The neighborhoods served by these schools are in the northwestern part of the city and are regarded as highly desirable residential areas.

To some extent, the transition from preschool to elementary school is marked for all children by an element of cultural discontinuity. Children of minority cultural groups, however, are more likely to encounter dissonant mixed messages regarding the value attached to certain forms of behavior that were adaptive in their home environment. Moreover, the strategies available to such children for dealing with this additional layer of cultural complexity vary, depending on the status of their family’s ethnic group relative to the dominant cultural norms of society (Ogbu, 1990).

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