May 18, 2022 | Kindergarten 4-year-old classroom libraries are essential to prepare toddlers to learn to read and write. Those located in poor areas are however of poor quality, shows a study in Quebec.
This conclusion was presented by Sarah Jane McKinley, doctoral student at UQAM, during 89at Congress of Acfas. This is the result of an analysis of 30 4 -year -old kindergarten classes in poor areas distributed to nine school boards.
” Our results show that the quality level of most libraries is from low to minimal, and this, for the quantity of variety or quality of books “, underlines the doctoral student. On a scale of 0 to 24, 25 classes scored less than 16.8.
Several accessible books
During the study period, 8,054 books were listed, but less than a third were available to children. “Ideally, there should be 8 books per child and the library should contain at least 100 available books,” explains Sarah Jane McKinley. However 70% of classes have less than 75 books and there is an average of only 6.8 books per childannounced the review.
positive: most teachers reported rotating books at least once a month. There was also a good frequency of adding new albums.
Low quality books
To assess the quality of books in classroom libraries, the researchers determined what proportion of the books went on the list of Constellation, a directory proposed to teachers by the Ministry of Education to guide them in selecting books from their library. The results show that almost 8.2% of the albums reviewed are on this list.
Besides this, more than a third of the books came from unknown publishers that were not sold in bookstores and were instead found in supermarkets or thrift stores. These books are usually of the commercial type (for example, books of Spongebob or of Barbie) and does not represent the quality of the literature, according to the researchers.
In terms of physical quality, most of the books are in good condition or slightly damaged. “Books have to be in good condition to make them attractive and kids want to read them,” Sara Jane McKinley stressed.
Finally, 70% of the books reviewed were published after the year 2000. Therefore, they are relatively new, which is important to have books that represent the truth today.
Kindergarten class libraries consist mainly of children’s albums. This type of book where the image takes a more important place than the text is actually perfect for preschool because the illustrations help with comprehension. In children’s albums, you can find stories, documentaries, spreadsheets, picture books and books of nursery rhymes or poems.
“However, two-thirds of the books reviewed were stories,” said Sarah Jane McKinley. Therefore, this genre dominates in class libraries. » The documentary is present on a small scale and represents 13.2% of the books. “However, documentaries are of particular importance because they help children understand the world around them and expand their vocabulary,” he added.
What are the consequences for children?
“We know that a high-quality physical environment is beneficial for children’s skills and those from poor backgrounds or whose native language is not French particularly benefit from it”, Sara Jane stressed. McKinley. In fact, these children generally have access to fewer books at home. Unfortunately, these results suggest that Class libraries in 4-year-old kindergartens in poor areas are not rich enough to support toddlers who have learned to write.
Therefore, we should invest more in class libraries, but money cannot solve everything. “Specific budgets were provided to 4-year-old kindergartens in 2018-2019 to improve the offer of youth albums, the doctoral student said. Despite the money invested, it is still not enough. »
This is why he recommends helping future teachers identify the characteristics of a high-quality album. In this moment, future teachers receive very little training in children’s literature, he is homesick.
Source: Acfas and Trema
Kathleen Couillard – Born and raised