Takes a critical look at one of the commonplace features of early childhood classrooms—story time. In her essay, Melissa considers the ways in which story time reinforces unequal power dynamics for diverse learners by privileging the able-bodied learner. In response, Melissa creates and presents the SPHERE model, which promotes active engagement and shared dialogue through collaborative storytelling and nurtures an inclusive literacy-learning environment.

Author Biography

Melissa A. Tsuei has spent her career exploring diversity in learning styles, as a nanny, tutor, counselor and educator. She is most focused on how to transform the current school climate and practices to serve the underserved, particularly populations of economic disadvantage and children labeled with disabilities. In the Early Head Start Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Melissa works with very young children in the context of their home, family, and neighborhood.



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