The literacy hour: a case for listening to children

Hancock, Roger and Mansfield, M. (2002). The literacy hour: a case for listening to children. Curriculum Journal, 13(2) pp. 183–200.



Despite a professional rhetoric about the importance of consulting children, there is reason to think that many teachers continue to disregard children's views in their dayto-day practice. The Literacy Hour, with its detailed content and prescribed pedagogic structure, leaves teachers, teaching assistants and children very little room for comment or change. This article reports on a small-scale interview study involving 48 children. The study aimed to understand children's experiences of the Literacy Hour. It is suggested that their comments should serve to inform professional practice. They raise important considerations related to teaching and learning and also provide reasons for questioning if the hour is as complete an answer to literacy teaching as it is claimed to be.

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