Each child has unique strengths and uses strategies they learn are successful to foster literacy development. It is crucial to start with an approach that emphasizes what children can do instead of what they cannot yet achieve. An approach that begins with examining deficits often over-emphasizes what children lack instead of their capacities. Children’s literacy experiences are housed within relationships and opportunities. An integrated approach acknowledges that reading, writing, and language development are connected and contextualized by children’s experiences. Language development, and later reading and writing, are vehicles for comprehension, even as our increasing comprehension helps us to form each of these three areas. The components of literacy develop incrementally and they all foster the development of the other components. Literacy development requires a holistic approach, focusing on understanding the whole child across contexts and time with a strengths-based focus.
This textbook acknowledges the importance of collaboration in a strengths-based focus as it fosters cultural responsiveness and an integrated approach to learning. By starting with the expectation that there are multiple perspectives to be heard and valued, educators are better equipped to embrace and respond to the needs of children and families. Strong communication among all of the adults that make up the context of the child’s life promotes the opportunities for children and families to have input and influence in the environment. This, in turn, fosters positive outcomes for children’s literacy development.