About Learning ALOUD

Early Childhood Education Centre


The Background of Storytelling

Irish Policy surrounding the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector endeavours to improve the quality of childcare provided by creating departments that aim to promote and improve professional practice in ECEC services. The Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education (CECDE) was launched in 2002 to inform and advise the Department of Science and Education on policy issues relating to the educational needs of young children (0-6 years). Within these departments it is acknowledged that the children most at risk of reading difficulties are those who begin school with lesser verbal skills than their peers and this could be the result of a limited access to books in the early years. National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among young children and young people (2011-2020) was launched in July 2011. Two key areas of this strategy are to improve teachers’ and ECEC practitioners’ professional practice through educational changes and to foster an enjoyment of reading in pre-school children (Department of Education and Skills, 2011). Learning ALOUD contends that storytelling as pedagogy can help to bridge the gap that formal learning fails to meet, whereby the educator can support children to interpret and understand lived experiences.

Storytelling as a Method of Teaching

Storytelling as a method of teaching was identified and endorsed by Egan (1984), when he asserted that storytelling is a model of teaching which holds great potential for helping children understand meaning and connection expressed through storytelling and interactions. ‘The method of oral storytelling as pedagogy is a shared experience through which the teller builds a connection with the listeners and the key to building a good story session is in the tellers ability to build the relationship with the listeners and draw individuals into the storyline (Philips, 2013). This model was further explored by Cooper, et. al. (2007) who suggested that children benefit from authentic literacy activities which have been shown to prepare children for a wide range of developmental areas.


My professional positionality underlining the creation of Learning ALOUD is influenced by my interest in finding a way of teaching that is:

  • Holistic
  • Relational
  • Inclusive

The knowledge that children whose social and emotional development is supported in their early years have greater life chances drives me to show others how storytelling is a holistic and FUN way to learn which will have a positive impact on children who engage with it.

Latest News

A Busy & Exciting Month

8th March 2023

I started February off by submitting an abstract (fingers crossed) for the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) 2023 conference in Lisbon, which is taking place from August 30th to September 2nd. This year’s theme is Children’s Curiosity, Agency and Participation: Challenges for Professional Action and Development 2023.eeceraconference.org. Now,…...

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Book Review: Frankie’s World

13th February 2023

Book Details Title: Frankie's World Author: Aoife Dooley Publisher: Euston House Place of Publication: United Kingdom Published: 2022 Pages: 258 Reviewer: Catherine O'Reilly | Ph.D. research student | Trinity College Dublin Age Range: 10-15 Theme: Autism, Humour, Relationships, Fitting in, Accepting yourself This new book by Aoife Dooley, Frankie’s World,…...

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Book Review: Talking is Not My Thing!

13th January 2023

Book Details Title: Talking is Not My Thing! Author and Illustrator: Rose Robbins Publisher: Scallywag Press Reviewer: Catherine O'Reilly | Ph.D. research student | Trinity College Dublin Teaching in the early years is about letting children be curious, explore, ask questions and wonder about everything around them. For example, have…...

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Book Review: Peter Rabbit Tales – A Christmas Wish

24th November 2022

Book Details Title: Peter Rabbit Tales - A Christmas Wish Author: Beatrix Potter Publisher: Puffin Books Published: Penguin Random House Children's UK, London First Published: 2017 Reviewer: Catherine O'Reilly | Ph.D. research student | Trinity College Dublin Website: Peter Rabbit Introduction It is that time of year again, children are…...

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Keeping up to date

Exposure to books and stories and active participation in storytelling help children to make sense of their ever evolving world.

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