Date of Award

Winter 12-16-2016

Degree Type

Masters Plan B

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Dana Robertson

Second Advisor

Jeasik Cho

Third Advisor

Suzanne Young


This paper explores the ideological model of literacy as a means to perceive early childhood literacy development as well as inform instruction and assessment in the classroom. This model suggests that literacy and its uses are dependent on social contexts whereas the autonomous model views literacy as a set of defined skills to be mastered. Young children have developed as literate people before formal schooling begins because they have grown up observing the literate behaviors of adults. By becoming culturally- and socially-responsive, teachers can use this knowledge to advise their instruction and incorporate outside of school literacies into the classroom. An ideological approach to assessments would allow for teachers to utilize a variety of evaluative methods, some of which could be integrated into daily activities. This paper concludes with the argument that an ideological approach to literacy learning, instruction, and assessment would benefit students as well as teachers if the approach was done so holistically and intentionally.