ERIC Number: ED249496
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Writing Stages: A Developmental Hierarchy.
Milner, Joseph O.
The developmental stages of writing can be related to Jean Piaget's final three stages of development (preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational) and to the narrative, descriptive, explanative, analytical, and artistic rhetorical modes. As the child enters kindergarten or the first grade, narrative blooms. By this age most young children operate concretely and they sense order and patterns that govern all of life. Likewise, the verbal life of the child has taken on a sense of rule and sequence. In entering the school world of writing, the child turns to the most fundamentally structured mode of discourse, the story. When full control--what Piaget calls decalage--is established, students are ready to move into the descriptive mode of discourse. The cognitive demands that arise from both ordering the phenomena and sensing completeness separate descriptive writing from the narrative mode. When a single-minded focus upon either time or space is left behind, the writer moves from the fundamental, concrete mode to a sophisticated, formal mode of writing. This movement is the requirement for the explanative mode where time and space must be blended by the writer. The analytic mode is even more demanding cognitively in that the writer must fashion abstractions that are drawn from, and point to, the concrete world but are by definition not a part of it. The artistic mode is the final writing stage and requires both a competence with abstractions and the ability to create a concrete embodiment appropriate to the abstraction at hand. To write in this mode is to need to measure even more skillfully than in the lower stages the sense of completion of the art. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (73rd, Denver, CO, November 18-23, 1983).