Over the past several decades, approaches to early literacy have varied across geographical and programmatic contexts. While there is a general agreement on the skills that should be included in early literacy programs (e.g., phonemic awareness, vocabulary) (Castles et al., 2018; NRP, 2000), the emphasis on these skills and how they are integrated into early primary grades (K-2) have differed. These differences have been documented in recent reports, including the OHRC’s Right to Read Inquiry Report (2022). While the OHRC’s report has already had an influence on educational stakeholders, divergent views on how to best teach literacy continue to occur (Cummins, 2022). Questions continue to be discussed about how to define literacy and ensure that all individuals receive the instruction necessary to meet their literacy potential.  

Documenting teachers’ perspectives of literacy instruction in the early primary grades is critically important to the maintenance of quality education. It is particularly important, to the state of the teaching profession, to explore divergent voices that include alternative learning environments. The main objective of this study is to capture both local and international perspectives and practices of instructional approaches to early literacy.

This study is ongoing and involves school visits and interviews with elementary teachers across Canadian provinces as well as teachers in Mexico City, Rome, and Reggio Emilia. Teachers involved in this study teach in a range of school contexts, including independent, forest and nature, Montessori, and Reggio-inspired.

Read about ongoing thoughts and initial findings here.

More about research on early literacy in Reggio and Montessori classrooms: A scoping review in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.