This paper argues that teachers’ recognition of children’s cultural practices is an important positive step in helping socio-economically disadvantaged children engage with school literacies. Based on twenty-one longitudinal case studies of children’s literacy development over a three-year period, the authors demonstrate that when children’s knowledges and practices assembled in home and community spheres are treated as valuable material for school learning, children are more likely to invest in the work of acquiring school literacies. However they show also that whilst some children benefit greatly from being allowed to draw on their knowledge of popular culture, sports and the outdoors, other children’s interests may be ignored or excluded. Some differences in teachers’ valuing of home and community cultures appeared to relate to gender dimensions
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