Family Literacy Programs in the Netherlands and in Germany

Policies, Current Programs, and Evaluation Studies

Authored by: Nele McElvany , Roel Van Steensel , Karin Guill , Cathy Van Tuijl , Stephanie Herppich

Handbook of Family Literacy

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415884570
eBook ISBN: 9780203841495
Adobe ISBN: 9781136899126


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Family literacy in the Netherlands and in Germany have originated from different philosophies and policies regarding the role of families in the education of their children, but they also have seen similar initiatives within their countries. This chapter describes and compares current family literacy policies, programs, and evaluation studies. Following a short introduction providing the common context of both countries and their populations, the chapter is structured in two sections, each focussing in-depth on one country. First, in each section we will describe the early beginnings and policy concerned with family literacy, noting that family literacy as a central, organized, and structured system of interventions in Germany is still in its infancy, while the Netherlands can look back on a more comprehensive history in this area. Next, a description of different family literacy programs is provided. Each section also includes research on the effectiveness of the programs, including a discussion of how the programs respond to family and cultural factors, and where future efforts appear to be moving. The chapter closes with an overall discussion of similarities and differences of the current and future developments in the Netherlands and Germany.

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