Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vivian L. Gadsden
Family literacy is commonly examined in larger discussions of literacy and language and in relationship to PreK through 12 schooling, adult learning, or child-parent learning in home and school settings. As a formal area of inquiry in language and literacy research, family literacy has a relatively short history. Definitions of family literacy vary. A common definition used in the United States and the United Kingdom describes family literacy as encompassing a wide variety of programs that promote parents and children in literacy-enhancing practices and activities. This definition is often accompanied by a more purposeful and controversial goal, described later in this entry: to improve the literacy of “educationally disadvantaged parents and children,” based on the assumption that parents are their child's first and most influential teachers. However, family literacy in its broad sense includes a focus on the social practices that exist within families and the ways that individual family ...