Rethinking Early Literacies: Reading and Rewriting Worlds, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Early Literacies

Reading and Rewriting Worlds, 1st Edition

By Mariana Souto-Manning, Haeny S. Yoon


244 pages | 32 B/W Illus.

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Rethinking Early Literacies honors the identities of young children as they read, write, speak, and play across various spaces, in and out of pre/school. Despite narrow curricular mandates and policies, the book highlights the language resources and tools that children cultivate from families, communities, and peers. The chapters feature children’s linguistic flexibility with multiple languages, creative appropriation of popular culture, participation in community literacy practices, and social negotiation in the context of play. Throughout the book, the authors critically reframe what it means to be literate in contemporary society, specifically discussing the role of educators in theorizing and rethinking language ideologies for practice. Issues influencing early childhood education in trans/national contexts are forefronted (e.g. racism, immigration rights, readiness) throughout the book, with a call to support and sustain communities of color.



"This compelling and vibrant book presents a call for early years educators to embrace emancipatory literacy pedagogies that pay attention to issues of identity, power, and social justice. Drawing on rich case studies across classrooms, homes, and communities, Souto-Manning and Yoon clearly demonstrate how to engage children and their relational networks in meaningful, inspiring literacy practices that foster critical thinking and creativity. This book is essential for educators, researchers, students and policy makers who want to ensure that early childhood literacy provision is re-envisioned for contemporary times."

—Professor Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield, School of Education, UK

"Rethinking Early Literacies is a substantial and exciting new contribution to literacy studies. Drawing on both seminal studies and cutting-edge theoretical relational perspectives, this book is alive with voices of children and their teachers. Firmly placed in a Freirean tradition, this is one of the most generative and joyful books on early childhood literacy I have seen in some time. Much needed in the global landscape of accountability and blame!"

—Professor Barbara Comber, School of Education, University of South Australia

Table of Contents

Part I: Young Children as Literate Beings 1. Identity, Culture, and Agency 2. Reading and Rewriting Worlds and Words 3. Multiple Literacies and Language Competencies Across Young Children’s Social Contexts Part II: Spaces of Belonging: Relational Literacies 4. Languages and Literacies in Families and Homes 5. Languages and Literacies in Neighborhoods and Communities 6. Languages and Literacies in Peer Culture Part III: Rethinking Early Literacies: Children’s Literate Identities in Contemporary Times 7. Rethinking (Pre)School Literacies 8. Reproducing and Challenging Societal Literacies 9. Orchestrating Complex Literacies: Considering the Power of Young Children’s Repertoires and Identities

About the Authors

Mariana Souto-Manning is Associate Professor and Director of the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education Programs at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.

Haeny S. Yoon is Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.

About the Series

Changing Images of Early Childhood

Books in this forward-thinking series challenge existing practices in early childhood education and reflect the changing images of the field. The series enables readers to engage with contemporary ideas and practices of alternative perspectives which deviate from those theories traditionally associated with the education of young children and their families. Not only do these books make complex theory accessible, they provide early childhood educators with the tools to ensure their practices are backed by appropriate theoretical framework and strong empirical evidence.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Language Experience Approach
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Language Arts
EDUCATION / Professional Development