Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Rosamund Stooke


The revised version of the Ontario Ministry of Education document The Kindergarten Program (2006) mandates teaching critical awareness to students as young as three years of age, and has been the mandated programming document for publicly-funded Kindergarten programs in Ontario for two school years. This study critically examines the program’s expectations in relation to the contents of other Ministry of Education documents for early primary teachers and reports on interviews with kindergarten teachers that explored their interpretations of and thoughts about the new expectations. The research was informed by approaches to discourse analysis, a qualitative research strategy that analyzes “language in use” (Wetherell, Taylor, and Yates, 2001, p.3). It analyzed teachers’ interpretations and implementation of the mandated expectations and found that respondents re-conceptualized critical awareness to align with their established practices and with the dominant representations of literacy learning present in the Ministry documents.



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