Original Research

The constructions of early childhood practitioners’ literacy needs on an in-service Bachelor of Education course

Karin Hackmack
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 9, No 1 | a582 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v9i1.582 | © 2019 Karin Hackmack | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 August 2017 | Published: 20 August 2019

About the author(s)

Karin Hackmack, Faculty of Education, Fort Hare University, East London Campus, South Africa

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Background: Academic literacy(ies) is a major determining qualifier for success in a university qualification. Academic literacy(ies), in this study, are seen as social practices or discourses that occur within specific academic disciplines. Students therefore needed to ‘learn’ the academic literacy(ies) discourse of the faculty.

Aim: This study investigated the way lecturers and the course facilitators understood literacies and their students’ literacy demands.

Setting: The early childhood practitioners were attempting to obtain a B.Ed degree on a piloted degree career path at a university.

Methods: Data were collected from individual and focus group interviews, one assessment task, and one assessment report from each respective course. Two lecturers and two course facilitators participated in the individual interviews, and three lecturers and three course facilitators participated in the focus group interviews.

Results: The study revealed that the course facilitators’ and lecturers’ understanding of literacies was not cognisant of literacy as a set of social practices, nor of the enormous changes students needed to make at the level of identity to progress in their academic careers.

Conclusion: The findings from the study showed a disjuncture between the understanding of the meaning of academic literacies by course facilitators and lecturers. A focused and cohesive discussion on academic literacy needs to occur in order to facilitator the practitioners’ progress.


academic literacies; discourses; early childhood; practitioners; ideological model of literacy; autonomous model of literacy


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