Questionnaire data were analysed using Excel, and patterns across the participants’ responses were explored.
Interview and observational data were logged in the data analysis software Atlas.ti, which proved to be an efficient tool for organising, coding and accessing the complex, multi-media data set and facilitated the systematic, rigorous interrogation of all data resources. Working with uncut video, field notes and transcripts of interviews with parents and practitioners, data were coded according to domain (home/school), interaction frame (i.e. whether the activity was carried out individually or by children working as a group collectively or collaboratively), meditational means (books, computers, puzzles etc), modes of operation (gesture, language, embodied action etc.) and affordances (opportunities and constraints) of the children’s literacy practices at home and in the nursery.
Using a process of constant comparison, patterns and discrepancies in the data were identified, and painstaking analyses were made of selected episodes in the children’s literacy-related activities. This process allowed deep understandings of the means and modes of engagement used by children at an early stage of literacy development.