Investigating educational issues across Europe (ACROSS Base)
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Project LITERACY - Early literacy teaching and learning: innovative practice in four different national contexts: A thematic network
Overview "The aims of this Network were to:
  • contribute to the establishment in the EU of a shared knowledge base on educational innovations in the area of early literacy teaching and learning, including a focus on children from marginalised groups;
  • share and enlarge the perspectives, understandings and sense of what is possible in terms of early literacy teaching and learning, both of those involved in the research and also, of other researchers, of teachers, of teacher educators and of administrators in the various countries of the EC;
  • enhance the quality of early primary education in literacy, particularly for children from marginalised groups.
... The Network linked the four existing projects which the four participants were currently operating. These projects all concerned the teaching and learning of literacy, and all operated through some sort of action research case study, reflecting institutional and other cultural influences in the countries concerned. The methodology adopted for the Network was observational and interpretative, achieving its validity through the processes of triangulation and the preservation of primary observational data in video form. 

... Perceptions and ideas were exchanged by means of: 

  • the exchange of key texts between the four partners;
  • the exchange of videos, sound tapes, transcripts and other observational data, plus copies of children's writing and texts read by them;
  • communication by telephone, E-mail and fax;
  • twice yearly meetings, each of one week's duration, over a period of two years, for the purposes of visiting classrooms, talking with teachers and the collective examination and editing of video material, other observational data and texts read and written by children, plus discussion of informing ideas for a joint publication. 
The four projects linked by the Network had a number of features in common, some of which only became fully apparent during the course of the Project. In particular, they shared a basis of collaborative action research in which the researchers worked with teachers to help them become more reflective practitioners, and to draw on their perspectives and perceptions." (Dombey, 1998, p. 3).
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