ERIC Number: ED341066
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Case of the Singing Scientist: A Performance Perspective on the "Stages" of School Literacy. Technical Report No. 53.
Dyson, Anne Haas
A case study examined assumptions of current written language pedagogies, particularly the links between oral performance, literacy pedagogy, and the use of the explicit, analytic language valued in school. The subject, a young African-American child enrolled in an urban K/1 classroom, used school writing activities and the music of language to "perform," while other class members aimed more straightforwardly to communicate. Data collection took place weekly over a 10-month period and included hand-written field notes and audiotape recordings of the children's spontaneous talk during literacy activities. Data analysis consisted of the development of a set of categories to describe how the subject participated in the social and language life of the classroom. Results showed that, although the child's language resources contributed to his success with written language, they did not always fit comfortably into the "writing workshop" used in his classroom; in fact, his assumptions about written language and texts conflicted in revealing ways with those undergirding a workshop approach. As the year ended, the child, his teacher, and his peers had negotiated "stages" for his oral performances, which led to articulation of a distinction between text and performance. For the child, the most comfortable social structure for reflection involved privacy or interaction with collaborators who were not simultaneously his audience. Results highlight the subject's negotiations for social stages, not his control of literacy mechanics. (Three tables of data are included; 95 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.