Studies of language and literacy acquisition have shown the importance of literacy activities and processes in the home and there is much evidence across Europe that all parents care about their children’s education. However, and further highlighting aspects of educational inequality, not all parents have the knowledge and skills needed to best support their children’s literacy and learning development. Consequently, they do not see themselves as able to support their children’s literacy learning. Family literacy programmes and interventions work to redress this imbalance and to build parents’, children’s, families’, and thereby the wider communities’, literacy confidence.
Despite evidence of family literacy’s potential contribution to a number of EU policy goals there is no one EU wide family literacy policy. Policies focus sometimes on adults and sometimes on children and are located within the fields of adult basic skills, adult basic education, lifelong learning, childhood education and other sectoral policies for social inclusion.
The organic and fragmented nature of family literacy provision has been viewed as one of its strengths. Yet there may also be an opportunity to further strengthen this sector through the development of a cohesive and collaboratively created EU wide family literacy policy. This would give weight to family literacy as a core element in the promotion of a culture of lifelong learning amongst all families and thus make a significant contribution to a more socially just EU.
In this online discussion we invite participants to share their experiences of family literacy to consider the following questions:
- With what family literacy interventions or programmes are you familiar in your area?
- What are the perceived/measured benefits of family literacy in your context?
- What do you think are the most significant challenges to the development of family literacy in your locality?
- Where is family literacy policy housed within your national education policy and do you think this best serves the development of family literacy practice?
- How might an EU wide family literacy policy contribute to a more socially just EU?
The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Ann Hegarty of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), Ireland. The discussion will be open from 9 October at 12:00 and will be concluded on 10 October at 17:00. Join us in the discussion by returning to this platform!