ERIC Number: ED337774
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Sep-1
Reference Count: N/A
Transformative or Political Functions of Young Children's Writing.
McGinley, William; Kamberelis, George
A study drew upon the oral and written texts of four fourth-grade, inner-city children to explore how writing functioned in transformative or political ways. Transformative or political aspects of writing involve the potential restructuring of power relations that exist between the writer and a variety of social or cultural spheres. Several interviews with each child over the school year and analysis of their statements and writings revealed that at times, writing provided the children with a means to make sense of their social worlds. At other times, it served as a vehicle through which they could explore more political terrains--envisioning new social identities and possible worlds for themselves, members of the communities and society. Rosa used writing to externalize difficult emotions and to create openings for new forms of social interaction with her peers that helped her to work through these emotions. Lisa's writing allowed her to understand and affirm her love of family and friends, to savor the experiences of being young, and to explore future societal roles and responsibilities. Anthony often used writing for political purposes--to make personal sense of difficult social problems, as well as to invite others to engage in dialogue that might result in greater understanding of the problems and conflicts apparent in his community and the larger society. Finally, Paul's writing consistently focused on relevant social and political problems that affected people both in his community and beyond. (Twenty-six references are attached.) (Author/PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL. Research Foundation.
Authoring Institution: N/A