This chapter is a discussion of preparation--not of young children for school but of adults for their role as early educators of young children and, in particular, their responsibilities as early literacy teachers. At a fundamental level, early literacy teaching is a shared responsibility in a literate society and includes adults in many roles, such as reading to young children; helping them learn new words; teaching them the alphabet and how to spell simple words; and joining them in rhyming games, chants, and songs. The early educator has a higher level of responsibility of helping children develop school readiness skills, thus entailing preparation or professional education. It is not enough to tell or show children; they must be helped to understand if they are to acquire the knowledge and skills they need for strong language and literacy skills that undergird future learning achievements.
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