Dr. Denny Taylor
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Denny Taylor's Research on Making the Planet a Child Safe Zone

From Family Literacy to Earth System Science. 40-Year Research Retrospective.

 
 

Every study Taylor has undertaken in the past forty years is interconnected and reflects her commitment to culturally relevant research grounded in the everyday lives of families and communities. Her research encourages local contextualized changes that are historically and politically situated, and she has had a global impact in raising awareness of the systemic complexity of language, literacy and learning in diverse family and community settings throughout the world. Download the free report.

 

From Family Literacy to Earth System Science.

Family Literacy Today

 
 

Family literacy initiatives are ubiquitous in the U.S., Canada and many countries in Europe, and in many economically advantaged countries family literacy programs are available for refugees and economic migrants, especially mothers and children learning new languages and life skills so that they can survive and thrive in the new places that have become their home. Similarly, countries such as Afghanistan, Nepal, and Sub Saharan Africa offer village based family literacy programs, which seek to develop literacy in the context of community needs such as health, employment and family planning. In some countries family literacy initiatives are designed to reduce gender inequality and family violence, while in other countries family literacy programs focus on the amelioration of psychological and emotional traumas resulting from armed conflict and the support of family members physically disabled by war.

A systematic analysis of the family literacy initiatives undertaken by UN Member States indicates that family literacy is used in most countries in ways that are in keeping with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Most importantly, family literacy initiatives are used to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. The focus of family literacy initiatives on many of the other Sustainable Development Goals is also both remarkable and profound, briefly: (G 1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere; (G 2) End hunger, achieve food security; (G 3) Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being;(G 4) Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning; (G. 8) Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all; (G. 10) Reduce inequality within and among countries; (G. 13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; (G. 14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources; (G. 15) Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss; and (G.16) Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

 

"Urban and Rural Family Literacy Research."

"International Declaration of Family Literacy Principles."

"Using Literacy to Create Caring Communities."

Download the report: From Family Literacy to Earth System Science: Denny Taylor's Research on Making the Planet a Child Safe Zone.

From Family Literacy to Earth System Science.

Family Literacy Today (continued).

 
 

In step with the UN Sustainability Goals, the main focus for Denny Taylor at this time is the re-engagement of families, schools and communities with the physical world.

Her field research with families living in regions of armed conflict and catastrophic events has led to deep analysis of the interconnections between: (1) human enterprise; (2) climate change and extreme weather events; (3) ecological crises; (4) economic crises; (5) extreme wealth; (6) extreme poverty; (7) armed conflict; and (8) public health emergencies. This is the research that has convinced her that great transformations in the relationships between people and the planet can be achieved through collective action.

The fact that the concept of “family literacy” has had such a global impact is compelling. There is no doubt that supporting families is absolutely essential and urgently required to achieve the massive transformations that must take place.

It is from this perspective that Denny Taylor is convinced that family literacy can become a universally accepted global conduit for advancing fairness and justice for the most vulnerable people, be a powerful tool in the eradicating poverty and inequality, and provide opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to hold true to shared values and principles for human existence on the planet.

Thus the clarion call for war so often heard today is met here with a clarion call for peace – a radical shift to transform human societies based on a shared commitment of all people to unite through family literacy to save our children and make the planet a child safe zone.

 

"International Center for Everybody’s Child."

"Fieldwork on Children and Armed Conflict."

"Using Literacy to Respond to Catastrophes."

Download the report: From Family Literacy to Earth System Science: Denny Taylor's Research on Making the Planet a Child Safe Zone.

In step with the U.N. Sustainability Goals, the main focus is the re-engagement of families, schools and communities with the physical world.

 
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Introduction from the Report: From Family Literacy to Earth System Science. 

 
 

Introduction (pg.3)

The concept of “family literacy” originated in the doctoral research of Denny Taylor. Recently colleagues and students have nominated her for several research awards in recognition of her lifetime commitment to transdisciplinary family literacy scholarship and fieldwork with families living in urban and rural poverty in the U.S., and in regions of armed conflict and catastrophic events around the world. This document was constructed to support one of the awards for which she has been nominated.

Every study Denny Taylor has undertaken in the past forty years is interconnected and reflects her deep commitment to culturally relevant research grounded in the everyday lives of families and communities. Her research encourages local contextualized changes that are historically and politically situated, and she has had a global impact in raising awareness of the systemic complexity of language, literacy and learning in diverse family and community settings throughout the world. Verification of the importance of the concept of family literacy is provided by the more than 7,000,000 Internet search results for “family literacy” and 5,640,000 for “family literacy nights”, and of the importance of Denny Taylor’s family literacy research by over 1,100 citations in academic publications to her scholarly work.

There are family literacy centers and coalitions across the United States, and many governments around the world have adopted the concept of family literacy. UNESCO uses family literacy as an organizing principle for the support of vulnerable populations and in 2012 published A Handbook of Family Literacy. There are family literacy programs in China, and among the countries that have family literacy programs for refugee women and their children are Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and The Democratic Republic of Congo. The remarkable fact is that there are now family literacy initiatives in every Member State of the United Nations.

Catherine Compton-Lilly, Rebecca Rogers, and Tisha Y. Lewis report that Denny Taylor is one of the most cited researchers in the field of family literacy, along with Shirley Brice Heath (MacArthur Genius Award) and Luis Moll (American Academy of Science). In 2012 in the Reading Research Quarterly, these researchers write:

The four most cited researchers all conducted descriptive qualitative research projects that focused on culture, language, social class, and/or race. These studies included … Denny Taylor’s (1983; Taylor & Dorsey-Gaines, 1988) research with European American and African American Families. … Postmodern stances are discernable in these descriptive studies in that they documented a limitless range of potential literacy practices and purposes (p. 42).

Compton-Lilly, Rogers, and Lewis provide a brief history of family literacy politics and programs stating, “Historically, U.S. policies have identified family literacy as a potential solution to economic and social disparities. During the 1980’s, multiple family literacy programs were established through public and private efforts” (p. 34). These researchers also note, “Family literacy efforts have emerged around the world. Park (2008) studied the effects of children’s home literacy on later reading achievement in 25 countries, including Singapore, Argentina, Colombia, and Iran, as well as European countries” (p. 34).

 

"Every study Denny Taylor has undertaken in the past forty years is interconnected and reflects her deep commitment to culturally relevant research grounded in the everyday lives of families and communities."

 

From Family Literacy to Earth System Science. A 40-Year Research Retrospective.

 
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