The '30 Million Word Gap'
Submitted by Susan Finn Miller on June 1, 2018 - 12:12pm
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Hello colleagues, Some of you-- especially if you have been involved in family literacy programming-- may be familiar with the claim made by Hart & Risley in a study conducted in 1992 that children who were born into welfare families were exposed to fewer words as babies and toddlers as compared to children born into middle class families. The researchers reported a gap of 30 million words between these two groups of children.
The Hart and Risley study has had enormous influence in early childhood education over the years, and, as a consequence, many family literacy programs have urged practitioners to emphasize the importance of parents' interacting with children to support children's language development.
Today's blog on NPR Ed by Anya Kemenetz highlights some of the critiques of Hart and Risley's original work, which I found pretty fascinating.
Please share your thoughts!
Cheers, Susan Finn Miller
Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP